We hope that everyone is able to stay off the roads during this latest deluge of ice and snow. Current weather models are predicting that we could continue to see ice and snow fall in metro-Atlanta through Friday evening. Hunker down with friends and family and do what is necessary to ride out this once in a generation storm.
If you absolutely must get out on the road, make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition, i.e. tires have good tread and are properly inflated, wiper blades work, all the lights work, there is more than a half tank of gas in the engine, etc and use extreme caution. Additionally, be prepared for the worst. Take supplies such as bottle water, food, blankets, glove, hat, and of course, a fully charged cell phone.
Unfortunately, no matter how prepared or careful you are, it is not always possible to avoid the carelessness, recklessness or negligence of another driver. If you are involved in a snow or ice related accident, remember the following tips:
- Use your vehicle for shelter and protection. Often the most serious snow or ice related accident is the next accident. Do not get out of your vehicle in such a manner that makes you vulnerable to being hit by another vehicle. If you must get out of your car to check on or obtain information from the other driver, make sure your car is between you and the road. If another vehicle loses control, you want it to hit your vehicle, not you. Also, check your surroundings carefully for trip hazards and obstacles that might be hidden by the snow. Once you have obtained what is necessary from the other driver, get back in your vehicle and stay there.
- Call for Emergency Assistance If Needed. Call 911. You will not get assistance if you do not ask for it, and the metro-Atlanta area has a dedicated group of emergency personnel specifically trained in responding to weather related accidents and safely treating injuries that result. Unlike a few weeks ago, the roads should be clear enabling the police and paramedics to better respond. If the police are able to respond, it eliminates any need for you to get out of your car. If not, all 911 calls are recorded, helping you to establish a record of what happened in a case where there is no police report.
- If possible, move your car to the side of the road. As stated above, the most serious snow or ice related accident is often the next one. If you can move your vehicle so that it is not in the roadway, do so.
- If hurt seek medical attention as soon as practical. If an ambulance is not available to take you to an emergency room and your condition is not life threatening, strongly consider waiting until roads have improved before seeking treatment. That said, do not let your injuries linger for days and weeks without medical attention. Do not assume that your pain will simply go away with time. Follow up with your primary care physician, urgent care center, a trusted chiropractor or emergency room. Symptoms such as muscle spasms, radiating pain and headaches could be signs that you have suffered a serious head or spinal cord injury. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the worse those injuries could get.
- Call a lawyer with experience handling personal injury cases. If you are hurt, failing to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney could jeopardize your ability to recover for your injuries. Call now.