It is that time of year again when the temperatures drop, and the roads can become treacherous. That is exactly what happened last month when a morning commute led to a 20-car pileup on 96th Street in Indianapolis. Freezing rain had resulted in icy road conditions and the road remained closed for several hours after the accident occurred to allow emergency crews time to clean up the mess.
While most of us have experienced enough bad winters to know that there are steps that can be taken to avoid accidents in bad weather, many people do not know what they need to do if they are actually in an accident. Because it may be snowing and freezing cold, knowing what to do after a winter accident can mean the difference between life and death. Here are five things that you should (or should not) do after being involved in a winter car accident:
- Make sure everyone is okay and then get off the road if possible. The safety of those involved in the accident will likely be your main concern, so check on the occupants of your vehicle and the others involved in the accident. Call 911 if needed. If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road because leaving them on the road could leave you at risk of being hit by another oncoming vehicle.
- Stay in your car if you can not move it off the road. If you are not able to get your car to the side of the road, stay inside your car where you will at least have some protection from other vehicles.
- Stay warm and visible. Turn your hazard lights on and put up road flares if you have them so that other vehicles will know that something is wrong. Grab extra clothing and blankets from your emergency kit (every car should have them), and bundle up to stay warm. If your car is still running, make sure that nothing is blocking your exhaust pipe. If it is blocked, you could run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Stay put if you are stranded. If you are in a remote area and have run off the road, it is understandable that you might be scared. However, it is easy to get lost, especially if it is storming. Instead of trying to walk for help, stay put and wait for help to come to you.
- If you see a crash, do not always stop to help. While it is always tempting to be a good Samaritan, it could cause more problems than you think. If people in the accident are not in any immediate danger, simply call 911 and let emergency responders assist with traffic control and medical assistance.
Contact an Indiana Car Accident Attorney Today
It is not easy to stay calm after an accident, but it is your best bet for getting everyone out safely after a stressful situation. Keep in mind, however, that if you or your loved one is injured as a result of a winter car accident, the attorneys at Tanzillo, Stassin & Babcock P.C. can help you get the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.