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Winter Accident: What to Do

Accidents are stressful and, by definition, unplanned. Make sure you know how to handle everything before it happens.

When involved in an accident, there are steps you should take to maintain your personal safety, the safety of others involved in the accident, and the safety of other motorists and pedestrians in the area. In the winter, there are a few extra factors to keep in mind. Read on to stay safe.

  • Due to shorter days, cloudier weather, and the increased likelihood of precipitation, reduced visibility is an increased problem during the winter. It is imperative that you make sure you are visible to everyone around.
  • Snowy, icy, or wet roads mean that other vehicles may have trouble stopping. Make sure that you leave adequate distance for other vehicles.

Whether you were involved in the accident and are waiting for help to arrive or are making sure everyone is okay and clear the road, you should keep the following things in mind after a winter car accident.

Stay Calm

This can be a difficult thing to do after an accident. You will probably be feeling a surge of adrenaline and perhaps panic, but it is important to remain calm as much as you can. The accident has already happened, so your next focus should be on safety.

  • Turn on your hazard lights.
  • Check yourself for injuries, and then check your passengers.
  • Getting out of the vehicle might not be safe. Do a thorough check of your surroundings before exiting your car.
  • If it is safe to do so, check the occupants of the other vehicle for injuries.
  • Even if you aren’t certain it is necessary, it is probably best to call the authorities.

Stay Off the Road

Pay close attention to your surroundings so that the situation doesn’t get worse. If and when it is safe to get out of your vehicle, do so and move away from the road. Take photos of the accident if it is possible. If safe, move your car off the road to allow others to safely pass as any obstacle in the road has the potential to cause even more accidents especially when the road is wet and visibility reduced.

Be Visible

Do whatever you can to make yourself and your vehicle more visible, including flares, lights, and reflective or bright clothing. If the accident happened on a curve, place warning lights far back so that unsuspecting motorists don’t get surprised.

Stay Warm

Use emergency blankets or extra clothing to keep yourself warm. If it is very cold and you need to run your engine to stay warm, make sure the tailpipe isn’t clogged with dirt or snow.

Remember these tips and you should be okay. If you’ve experienced a winter accident, give us a call to discuss ding repair and minor body work – our prices are often better than what you will be charged from ICBC.

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