Over Friday and into the weekend, slushy ice and slick roads caused hundreds of ice-related Memphis car accidents. Cars fishtailed on Poplar and I-40 as well as on back streets and in residential areas. As a Memphis car accident lawyer, I know winter weather can seriously increase the accident rates. And since ice is such a common phenomenon here in the Mid-South, here are a few tips to keep in mind before you hit the road:
Driving Tips for Ice
1. Drive Slowly.
People always assume this means slow down to 20mph or some other low number. But it really means slow down to whatever speed is necessary. You can wipe out at 10mph on serious ice. If you’re fishtailing or can’t stay on the road, you’re going too fast, even if your odometer reads that you’re barely moving.
2. Avoid Your Brakes When Possible.
When you hit the brakes while on ice, it can cause you to lose control of the car. Certain anti-lock brakes can actually make your drive more dangerous, depending on the conditions. Fortunately, if you’re following rule #1 and slowing down significantly, you won’t have to depend as much on your brakes.
3. Steer Correctly Into the Slide
When you do start to fishtail or slide, you need to steer the wheel in the direction your back wheels are turning. People call this “steering into the skid.” In the moment, when you’re caught off-guard, it might feel strange. So before you go out on icy roads, just do a quick 30-second practice exercise: Get ready to drive, and then imagine your rear wheels giving out in either direction and figure out how you’ll steer in that situation. Just imagining it and practicing it before you leave will help you respond better in the moment.
What To Do After Ice-Related Memphis Car Accidents
If you do happen to get into an accident, you’ll want to get the other driver’s insurance information, take photos, and gather any other information you might need. (Since accidents can be so stressful, I’ve published a free car accident checklist you can keep in your glove compartment so you don’t forget any of these basic steps.)
But there are a few other things to keep in mind when the accident involved ice. First, you should call the police for help in moving or repairing your car. They can make sure the proper authorities come out. Bystanders may want to help, but in the process of stopping for you they can actually cause other accidents or complicate things. So people might be more reluctant or unable to stop.
You should also make sure to get out of the way, if possible. Usually you take your car to the side after an accident. Sometimes with ice you may not be able to do that. But other cars could hit that same ice and cause a pileup, so make sure to stand physically out of the way if you can, and from there you can get the other driver’s information.
Lastly, these accidents can be extremely complicated. Sometimes you have a pileup or it isn’t clear from the slipping which driver is at fault. Don’t talk with the other driver’s insurance yourself – for this, you need an attorney.
Ice-Related Memphis Car Accidents Lawyer
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