Snowstorms in Maine, like the one we’re experiencing now, are nothing new. Neither is the risk motorists take every time they get behind the wheel when road conditions are slick, snowy or icy.
Still, our Bangor car accident lawyers believe it’s worth an important to keep safety at the forefront, as a deadly series of winter storms has tracked across the Midwest and coastal areas of New England.
In Oklahoma, an 18-year-old driver was killed after crashing his vehicle when he lost control on a slush-covered road. Other similar accidents were reported in other areas of the country last week, where officials said there were expectations of between 10 to 12 inches of snow in some places. Of particular concern in many areas was the freezing rain and sleet that predictably made driving such a serious hazard.
Younger drivers in particular may be at risk because, even if they are native to this area and our weather, they are inexperienced with handling a vehicle in it. As parents, having asdiscussion about safe winter driving and limiting your teen’s driving hours in the midst of a very bad storm are wise.
There have been some concerns that this storm, when all is said and done, will rival the early February blizzard last year, blamed across the country for two dozen deaths and knocking out power to thousands of homes.
Here in Maine, weather officials predicted we would be hit with a minimum six inches of snow, beginning late Saturday and continuing through Sunday and possibly the earlier part of the week. Primarily, we were expected to see that inclement weather in the southern parts of the state, including Bangor and the Cape Code area.
You can’t control the weather, but you can control how safe you’ll be as you head out.
One of the ways you can reduce your chances of a crash is to make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Check your tire tread, your battery, your windshield wipers, your antifreeze and your no-freeze wiper fluid. You also want to make sure you have certain items stocked up: jumper cables, flashlight, sand or kitty litter (for if you get stuck), ice scraper and warning devices. If you’re going on a longer trip, add water, food, medication, cell phone and charger.
Also, bear in mind that every time you head out, it’s going to take you longer in the snow (and especially in a storm) to get where you need to go. Avoid the temptation to rush by giving yourself plenty of time. It’s Ok to be late. Better that you arrive safely.
If you have a new driver in your home, give him or her practice behind the wheel in the snow. Take your teen to an empty lot in the daytime, and have them rehearse. Teach skills like steering into a skid, give them a sense of understanding what the brakes are doing. Point out that stopping distances are going to be longer when the road is covered with ice or ice that is covered with water. Teach them too not to idle for too long with rolled-up windows or in an enclosed space.
Drive home the point too that drinking and driving are never a good mix. Instruct them to drop the speed and increase the distance between their vehicle and the one in front. Have them keep their eyes open for pedestrians and make sure they know not to drive if they are feeling too tired.
If you are the victim of a Bangor car accident, contact us at 1-800-804-2004 or read more on our website.
At least 6 inches of snow expected in southern Maine, Feb. 21, 2013, By Ryan McLaughlin, The Bangor Daily News
More Blog Entries:
Maine Winter Driving Accidents Most Likely in December, Dec. 3, 2013, Bangor Car Accident Lawyer Blog