The Seasons of Michigan: Winter and Construction
All Michigan residents know that our State has two seasons: Winter and Construction. While many consider this a lighthearted quip regarding the State’s weather and roadway conditions, both factors can cause serious accidents resulting in catastrophic personal injury or even death.
Research conducted on road accidents indicates that a majority of accidents occur at dusk because of poor visibility due to early darkness. The ice, snow, wind, rain, and fog all contribute to hazardous road conditions. Another major issue during the winter season is the formation of ice on the roads that block traffic and leads to dangerous slippery conditions. Highway authorities try to maintain the roads by plowing and salting most major roads and highways. Their main concern is to prevent the roads from icing and clearing snow fast enough to avoid road closures.
In the winter, harsh weather conditions often cause engine or other mechanical issues. This can be particularly dangerous since drivers often do not leave sufficient room to stop in time to avoid a collision. Drivers should check that their car lights are working properly and their tires have adequate air pressure. Oil level should be checked often, and drivers should carry blankets, flashlights etc. at all times during the winter.
Sometimes, preventing an automobile accident is out of your control. But, by applying these simple steps, you can greatly reduce the chances of causing an accident.
- Limit cell phone use – don’t talk on the phone and refrain from texting while driving. Taking your eyes off of the road for a couple of seconds is enough to cause a fatal accident
- Never drink and drive – If you have been drinking, ask a friend or a family member to be your designated driver or have someone call you a cab.
- Seatbelt – Always wear a seatbelt and make sure that your passengers are wearing one too.
- Follow the speed limit – Try to keep your speed at or under the speed limit, especially during dangerous driving conditions like rain or snow.
- Keep safe distances – Make sure to keep your car at least one car length away from the car ahead of you per every 10 mph speed you are driving. The larger gap in between gives you more time to stop if the car ahead of you has to stop quickly.
- Limit distractions – If you have passengers in the car do not turn around and talk to them. Always keep your eyes on the road.
- Observe the cars around you – Always make sure to observe the cars around you. Before changing lanes, make sure there are no cars in your blind spots. Also, watch for cars that are switching lanes. Just before you see them, does not mean they always see you!
If you or a loved one is involved in an accident in which a catastrophic injury occurs, a Case Manager can help coordinate resources, ensure you receive all the benefits you are entitled to and achieve your greatest outcome. Under Michigan No-Fault law, catastrophically injured persons have the right to case management services and to choose their Case Manager.
Feinberg Consulting has been advocating for catastrophically injured persons and their families since 1996. If a crash does happen, we are here for any questions you might have.
To read statistics and report data that has been published regarding Michigan traffic crash facts go to: http://www.michigantrafficcrashfacts.org/