A good chunk of the United States has been experiencing what’s jokingly been called “Snowmageddon,” but the amount of ice and snow hitting Virginia roads lately is certainly not a joking matter. More storms are coming, even though the repercussions from a major storm that completely shut down I-95 for more than 24 hours are still being felt.
Recent winter storm has caused almost 500 collisions
The winter storm that came down on Sunday, Jan. 16, left Virginia State Police scrambling to at least 482 motor vehicle crashes and almost as many disabled vehicles. Remarkably, drivers in both the most recent snow storm and the prior one seem to have avoided any major injuries.
While you cannot control what other drivers are doing, here are some ways you can be prepared if you are in an accident or helpping someone else who is.
- Test your car’s battery and make sure that your vehicle is in good working order before you head out the door. If your call stalls, you may end up on the side of a busy road – a dangerous spot.
- Make sure that you have emergency supplies on hand, including blankets, food, water and medications you may need in times of trouble, for example, an asthma inhaler.
- Either switch to winter tires or – at a minimum – make sure that you have good tread on the tires you do have.
- Keep your gas tank full. Do not wait until it goes well below the midway point before you fill up. If you have to sit in your car for a while, it’s better to keep warm.
- Don’t use cruise control when roads are slippery or during low visibility situations, such as a snow storm. Cruise control may cause your car to accelerate on an ice patch or give you one less second to slow down.
- Slow down when it is dark or snowing, and increase your following distance. This can help you stop in time
- Put your cellphone away, turn off the podcast and focus on the road conditions.
If other drivers don’t follow the same safety precautions, everyone on the road is at risk. If you are, unfortunately, in a car accident, learn about your legal options for financial recovery.