27th February 2023
If you’ve lived in North Dakota for a while, you already know how essential it is to prepare your car for severe winter weather. But you might not know what to do if you’ve just recently moved here. The following information will help you get your car ready whenever forecasters predict a major winter storm.
No matter the time of year, Sand Law will be here for you if you’re in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence. You can schedule a free case evaluation by using our online contact form or by calling 701-609-1510.
Common Causes of Winter Car Accidents
Winter weather can make driving more dangerous due to snow, ice, and low visibility. There are several common causes of winter car accidents, including the following:
- Speeding: Drivers in a hurry and fail to slow down for winter conditions are at a higher risk for accidents.
- Black ice: This type of ice is difficult to see and can cause cars to lose traction and spin out of control.
- Poor visibility: Snow, fog, and sleet can reduce visibility, making it harder for drivers to see the road and other vehicles.
- Tailgating: Following too closely behind another car can be dangerous in winter conditions. It reduces the driver’s reaction time and increases the risk of rear-ending the car in front.
- Driving under the influence: Winter weather can make driving under the influence even more dangerous, impairing a driver’s decision-making abilities.
How to Prepare Your Car for a Winter Storm in Fargo, North Dakota
A pre-winter storm checklist can help ensure the vehicle is in good condition and ready for inclement weather. It could also save you from being in an accident that could lead to severe injuries. Items on your checklist should include the following:
Check Your Treads
Checking your tire treads before a winter storm is essential for several reasons. Tires with worn or insufficient treads can make maintaining control of your vehicle challenging. Treads provide traction and help your car maintain contact with the road. This is essential for safe driving in winter conditions.
In addition to maintaining control, good tire treads can help shorten stopping distances. This is important in winter driving. It can take longer for a vehicle to come to a complete stop on slick surfaces. Worn treads can increase stopping distances, putting drivers and passengers at risk.
Make Sure Your Tires are Full
Underinflated tires can cause problems, including reduced traction and stability, making it difficult to control the vehicle in winter weather conditions.
Properly inflated tires also improve fuel efficiency, helping to save on gas expenses. When tires don’t have enough air, the engine has to work harder to move the vehicle, which uses more fuel. Full tires are essential during winter when fuel prices tend to be higher.
Switch to Snow Tires
Snow tires provide better traction on snow and ice, which can help reduce the risk of accidents and ensure a smoother driving experience.
Snow tires give a car a better grip on slick surfaces. They also contain a softer rubber compound that stays flexible in cold temperatures, which improves the tire’s ability to maintain contact with the road.
In addition to improving traction, snow tires can help improve stopping distances. This is especially important in winter driving, as it can take longer for a vehicle to come to a complete stop on slick surfaces.
Even though they cost more than regular tires, snow tires are a worthwhile investment if you frequently drive in winter conditions.
Change Your Oil
During winter, cold temperatures can cause the oil to thicken, making it more difficult for the engine to start and operate efficiently. Old or dirty oil can also cause problems, such as reduced fuel efficiency and increased engine wear, leading to expensive repairs.
Check Your Battery
Cold temperatures can cause the chemical reaction in the battery to slow down, reducing its ability to hold a charge and start the engine. A weak battery can cause several problems, including difficulty starting the engine, reduced electrical system performance, and even total battery failure.
Winter driving can also place extra demands on the battery, as drivers may need to use headlights, windshield wipers, and other electrical systems more frequently. When your car uses more electricity, that causes the battery to drain more quickly and reduces its overall lifespan.
Tips for Driving Safely in the Snow
Driving in snowy conditions can be challenging and potentially dangerous, but there are several tips that can help you stay safe on the road. Here are a few to keep in mind.
- Slow down: Reduce your speed to match the road conditions and give yourself ample time to react to potential hazards.
- Increase following distance: Leave more space between you and the vehicle in front of you to allow for safe braking.
- Use your headlights: Turn on your headlights to improve visibility and make it easier for other drivers to see you.
- Be prepared: Carry an emergency kit in your vehicle, including a snow shovel, ice scraper, blankets, and extra clothing.
Steps to Take After a Winter Car Accident
After a winter car accident, it’s important to take several steps to ensure your safety and protect your legal and financial interests:
- Check for injuries and call for medical help if necessary.
- Contact law enforcement to report the accident and obtain a police report.
- Take photos of the accident scene and gather contact information from other drivers and witnesses.
- Contact your insurance company and report the accident.
- Consult with an attorney to understand your legal rights and options.
When to Hire a Fargo Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve suffered a severe injury in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you’re going to need an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Hiring a lawyer will be your only chance to obtain the compensation you deserve. A skilled attorney will not only investigate to determine who was to blame, but they’ll also know just how much your case is worth.