With the most significant snowstorm in the Treasure Valley in years currently impacting our roads, we've heard a lot about winter driving. Preventing an accident in dangerous conditions is always preferred, so that means taking it slow and making sure that your car is prepared. I've always been amazed by how much better my car does in the snow with newer tires. Having good windshield wiper blades made for the snow are also helpful.
It doesn't matter how many times winter driving tips are shared. It seems like there are always people that have to learn by going as if it were 80 degrees. Those are the cars you see either in a ditch or, more often than not, endangering everyone else on the road and having an accident that includes at least one other car.
So, instead of telling you how to avoid an accident, I am telling you what to do if it's too late. If you have an accident, there are specific steps that you need to take. Let's make sure that you know what to do if you have an accident on Idaho roads in a snow storm.
1.) Don't panic. Before talking to anyone, take a deep breath and collect yourself. Make sure that you are not injured and make sure that everyone else in your car is safe.
2.) Assess the situation. Before getting out of your car on an icy road, make sure you aren't in a vulnerable position. Another vehicle could potentially strike you or your vehicle.
3.) Check on the other driver. You mustn't admit fault in this situation, but try to be friendly. Let the police department assign blame.
4.) Exchange information with the other driver. You're going to want to make sure that you have their name, driver's license number, insurance company, and policy number. Make sure to get the Year, make, and model of their car as well as their license plate number.
5.) Call the Police. I know that this seems like a real hassle, and it's going to be awkward to sit and wait, but I can tell you from personal experience that you will be glad you didn't skip this step. Suppose the weather conditions are causing several accidents in the area. In that case, they may tell you that unless someone is seriously injured, dead, or there is damage of over $1500, just exchange information. Here's the thing, almost every car accident has damage of over $1500, so ask them to come.
6.) Take pictures. Use the time until the police get there to take pictures. Get photos of the damage to both vehicles, and make sure to snap a photo of their license plate.
7.) File your report. If the police don't show up, you will be required to file the report yourself within 24 hours. This will be important if you want to file an insurance claim to get your car fixed.
Stay smart this weekend and drive defensively.