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For even the most experienced Colorado driver, winter weather brings a whole new set of risks to everyone behind the wheel. Each year, over 1,300 deaths occur, and more than 116,000 people are injured on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement. Kaplan Morrell Law knows just how dangerous the combination of winter weather and driving can be. We also know many jobs require you to drive regularly to complete your tasks and duties. These five tips can reduce your risk of accident or injury while driving on the job this winter.

Statistics via the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

Five Winter Driving Tips to Reduce Risk of An Accident

  1. Inspect your vehicle before winter and throughout the season.
    • Check battery.
    • Check tire tread.
    • Check windshield wipers.
    • Check antifreeze.
    • Keep windows clear.
    • Put no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir.
  2. Winterize your car and keep an emergency kit. Things to keep in include in your car at all times throughout the winter are:
    • A full tank of gas
    • First aid kit
    • Cell phone charger
    • Water and snacks
    • Flashlight with extra batteries
    • Ice scraper and snowbrush
    • Backup clothing
    • Jumper cables
    • Tire chains
    • Shovel
    • Emergency Flares
  3. Obey cold weather driving rules by proceeding with caution throughout the duration of your trip.
    • Remove all snow or ice that may have accumulated on or around your car before beginning your drive.
    • Steer into a skid.
    • Account for stopping distances being longer, so begin to decelerate in advance.
    • Never idle for an extended period of time with your windows up or in an enclosed area.
    • Drive with caution: accelerate, decelerate, and drive slowly.
    • Maintaining a safe following distance with ample room to brake is necessary when navigating rough roads.
    • Finally, avoid using cruise control on slippery roads.
  4. Protect yourself and passengers while on the road.
    • Ensure all vehicle occupants, including you, are buckled up.
    • Use child safety seats properly.
    • Avoid placing a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag.
    • Keep children 12 and under in the back seat.
  5. Prevent further danger.
    • Never mix drugs or alcohol with driving
      • If you are planning to partake in drinking or drugs, designate a sober driver.
    • Keep your eyes open and on your surroundings – look for things like pedestrians, stopped vehicles, etc.
    • Do not drive if you are fatigued. Allow for plenty of rest before the trip, take a break at least once per three hours, and rotate drivers throughout when possible.

If you live in Colorado, you know first hand just how bad weather can impact driving conditions. This is why it is imperative for drivers to use extreme caution and pay close attention when driving before, during, or after a snowstorm. Even though you may be diligent, accidents can still occur. If you, a family member, or friend is a victim of a driving injury on the job this winter, contact our workers’ compensation experts at Kaplan Morrell. Our legal team is comprised of professionals in workers’ compensation in Colorado and will review your case with compassion and commitment by getting to the bottom of your automobile accident while helping you get the compensation you may be eligible for. Give the best workers’ comp lawyers in Front Range, Western Slope, and Eastern Plains, CO a call at (866) 356-9898 or complete our form here.