Tag Archives: driving advice

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Winter Driving: Stay Safe in Icy Weather

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Driving during the winter months is always going to be a more difficult task. The lack of friction on the roads due to black ice and the reduced visibility caused by heavy snowfall are just two of the dangers that you may encounter during this time. When the conditions get very bad, you should only drive if it is absolutely necessary, but if you do decide to venture out onto the roads, here is some helpful advice to keep you safe.

Prepare Before You Leave

The first part of safe winter driving happens before you have even left the house. Pack some supplies to keep in the car including some food and water, warm clothing, a first aid kit, a portable phone charger, a torch, jump leads, an ice scraper and some grit. Plan your route carefully beforehand so that you are less likely to get lost and try to stick to main roads which are more likely to have been gritted. Do all the proper checks beforehand including your oil, car fluids, and tyre pressures. Clear the ice from the whole of your windscreen and windows before you leave so that you have maximum visibility.

Pick the Correct Lights

You shouldn’t use your fog lights unless the visibility is extremely poor as this could dazzle other road users – particularly if there is a lot of snow on the ground. Don’t use your full beam headlights any more than you normally would. However, you should use the dipped beam headlights when it is snowing to help drivers to spot you when you are out on the roads.

Keep Your Distance

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Stopping distances increase significantly during the icy weather so you should leave more space than you normally would. It can take as much as ten times as long to stop on an icy road, so increase the distance between you and the car in front appropriately. A good rule of thumb to follow is to be around 20 seconds from the car in front of you if the road is icy. If you are unlucky enough to get into an accident, you should look to contact an auto accident attorney. But if you keep your distance you will decrease the odds of the crash being serious.

Drive Smoothly and Gently

Your use of all of the car controls including steering, throttle and brake should be as smooth and slow as possible. Keep the engine revs at a minimum by changing gear early as you accelerate and late as you decelerate. Try to avoid and harsh steering or other manoeuvres that could cause the car to skid.

Deal with Skidding

Sometimes, skidding is inevitable no matter how much you try to stop it. Listen out for the sounds that the road is making – if you are driving on a patch of ice, the tyre noise is likely to suddenly go quiet. If you feel yourself start to skid, take your foot off the accelerator, avoid using the brakes and steer in the direction of the skid.  

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Should You Call the Police After a Car Accident?

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If you have been involved in a car crash, there are a number of steps you need to take. You need to ensure that you watch what you say, that’s for sure. After all, you don’t want to implicate yourself in something. You also need to gather witness contact information too. But, do you need to call the police? This depends on the crash itself and any other important details surrounding it, so let’s take a look.

You need to assess the situation carefully to determine whether the police should be called. So, this involves…

  • Checking yourself and your passengers to see if there are any injuries – If anyone is injured, call the emergency services immediately. This means both an ambulance and the police. It is important to try and stay calm, although this can be a traumatic and painful experience. Make sure your hazard lights are on, and try to pull out of the lane of traffic.
  • Think about where you are in relation to other traffic – If you are positioned in a potentially dangerous area, and you cannot move, it is important to contact the police as soon as possible. They can ensure efforts are put into place to divert the oncoming traffic so that there are not any further accidents.
  • Check to see if anyone else is hurt in any other vehicles involved – If you and anyone else in your vehicle are fine, you should check to make sure that no one else is hurt in any of the other cars that have been involved in the car crash. Do not do anything, though, that is going to put your safety or anyone else’s safety at risk. If you cannot get to the car, call the emergency services immediately.
  • Do you suspect foul play? – If someone has fled the scene of the crash, then this is a clear reason to call the police. After all, you have been involved in a hit and run. If something about someone else’s behaviour is making you suspicious, it’s always better to go with your gut. Call the police. Maybe this person has something to hide?
  • Determine the extent of the damage to the vehicles – Your health and safety is a priority, so once you are sure everyone is okay, you can then look at the extent of damage to the vehicle. All accidents should be reported to the police within 24 hours. This is also important if you want to make a compensation claim. As this law firm will explain, a police record will help you to have a stronger case, as it serves as an official record of what has happened. If the damage is only minor, there is no need to call the police immediately, but make sure you do so while the details are fresh in your mind.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea as to whether you need to call the police or not. Use the steps that have been mentioned above to help you make up your mind. If you are still not certain, it is often better to be safe than sorry, so call the police, but think about going for their standard line rather than the emergency one.

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Family First – Keeping The Kids Safe After A Crash

There is nothing scarier than being involved in a road traffic accident. So, imagine just how terrifying it will be for your kids! Being in a crash with your whole family in the car can be extremely scary and stressful, as you won’t just have yourself to look out for. Thankfully, there are various steps you should take to ensure that your kids don’t end up too affected by the accident. Read on to find out more!

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Get Them Away From The Site

First of all, if you are able to, you should take everyone away from the crash site. This is because it could still be very dangerous. For instance, the vehicles could be on fire or they might set alight quickly if they aren’t already. Plus, if the cars have been left in the middle of the road, waiting close to them could make you all a hazard for other drivers. If you crash on a highway and can’t move too far from the site, you should get everyone onto the nearest grassy verge away from the vehicles and oncoming traffic.

Calm Everyone Down

If your family is panicking, it’s important that you spend some time calming everyone down. When they are panicking, they might make some very rash decisions that could put them in danger. So, after you have called the emergency services, it’s necessary to be with your kids and try to cheer them up. You can think of the positives, such as no one was hurt too badly.

Get Professional Help

Even if no one appears to be injured in a crash and you don’t have to call an ambulance, you should still take the whole family to the nearest hospital. Your children might be too scared to say if they have any aches and pains. When you see a doctor, they can get a proper checkout. It’s also worth contacting a car accident lawyer such as The Law Offices of Gary Greenberg as they can offer you any legal advice that you might need. This is especially important if anyone if badly injured after an accident that wasn’t your fault.

Be Open About What Happened

Your kids are probably going to have a lot of questions about what happened. So, in the days after the car accident, you should be very open and honest with them. Don’t try and sugarcoat what happened just to protect them as this could give them an altered view of the world. You might also find that some children develop a fear of being in a car. Most will lose this fear after a few weeks and they get back into the swing of things. However, if it persists, you should think about taking them to see a professional therapist or counsellor so they can get the help they need.

There’s no getting away with just how scary a car crash will be for you and your family. But, hopefully, all of the above tips can help you all overcome the trauma together.