The Carolinas rarely experience severe winter weather, but both states get their share of snow and ice from time to time. Freezing temperatures can make for slippery roads, sidewalks, and other surfaces. That can mean more accidents and potentially serious injuries.
Here are tips from Stewart Law Offices about how to stay safe in wintry conditions:
If You’re Driving…
- Only drive if you must. North Carolina and South Carolina drivers don’t get a lot of opportunities to drive in winter storms, so you’ll probably be a little rusty on how to respond if your car spins out of control.
- Drive slowly. Your tires will have less traction on snow-packed or icy roads. Driving too fast for the conditions is a recipe for disaster.
- Brake early. Vehicles take longer to stop on slippery surfaces. Apply the brakes earlier than normal when you are approaching a red light, stop sign, or other vehicle.
- Keep your distance. AAA recommends a following distance of five to six seconds to account for longer stopping distances.
- Don’t stop if you can help it. It’s much harder to get a car moving when stopped in snow. If you can roll slowly until a light changes to green, it will be much easier to keep the vehicle going predictably.
- Keep a winter weather emergency kit in the car. Prepare for the worst by carrying a blanket, cell phone charger, flashlight, road flares, water, and an emergency medical kit in your vehicle in case of a car accident.
If You’re Walking…
Icy sidewalks and parking lots can make the shortest walk perilous. You can reduce the chance of a slip and fall accident during a winter storm by taking the following steps:
- Wear boots with rubber grip soles to keep from slipping. Sneakers won’t cut it. You need solid traction.
- Avoid distractions. Don’t text or talk on the phone while walking on ice. You can reduce the chance for serious injuries by using your hands to break your fall.
- Take short, slow, and shuffling steps. Curl your toes, bend your knees, and walk as flat-footed as possible to reduce your chances of slipping.
- Pay extra attention when getting in and out of your car, climbing stairs, or entering and leaving buildings. These spots can be especially precarious in slippery conditions, particularly if they have not been treated or cleared yet.
- Give yourself extra time. Plan to leave early on snowy or icy days. Rushing to your destination will distract you from driving and walking carefully.
Get Help From Stewart Law Offices
Stewart Law Offices is a respected personal injury firm with offices in South Carolina and North Carolina. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, slip and fall, or any sort of incident due to someone else’s carelessness, you could have a claim for compensation.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Originally published December 2016, updated February 2021.