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How to Survive Wisconsin's Winter Roads

Northern Wisconsin’s rural roads can become deadly in the winter. Preparing your car and yourself for driving in harsh weather can prevent accidents. Here are five tips for avoiding accidents on Wisconsin winter roads:

  1. Don’t go out when the weather is bad. It should go without saying, but when winter weather advisories are in effect for your area, stay home if at all possible.
  2. Prepare your vehicle before heading outPack your car with a first-aid kit, flashlight, flares and ice scraper. Also carry water and snacks, warm clothing and blankets, and make sure your cell phone is fully charged before setting out.
  3. Slow down. It’s unwise to drive too fast when the roads are covered in ice and snow. If slipping and sliding does occur, driving slower will prevent serious accidents and pile-ups.
  4. Give a wide berth to other cars. Avoid following closely behind other cars, and stay away from large packs of cars whenever possible. This is when pile-ups occur.
  5. If you begin to slide, don’t overcorrect. It’s not uncommon to hit ice and begin to slide. If you do, stop hitting the gas and do not accelerate. Pump the breaks gently, and softly steer where you want to go. Never steer opposite the way the ice is turning you, or you may end up flipping your car.

What if I Get Into an Accident?

Naturally, drivers should aim to avoid accidents in the first place, but if you do find yourself in the aftermath of an auto crash, follow these guidelines:

  1. Get immediate medical assistance. Check yourself and your passengers for injuries, and contact emergency medical assistance immediately if necessary.
  2. Do not admit blame for the accident. No matter the circumstances, do not admit blame for the accident or speculate about the cause to other drivers or the police. These words may be held against you at a later time.
  3. Gather as much evidence as possible. Take photographs of your injuries and photos of the accident from various angles. Get a copy of the police report, and ask any witnesses for their accounts of the accident and contact information.
  4. Contact a lawyer. Finally, if you or any passengers have been injured in the accident, it’s wise to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Serious injuries may result in extremely high medical bills, lost wages and years of pain and suffering. A lawyer can help you recover damages for these losses from the at-fault parties. 

Winter weather in Wisconsin may be cause for alarm for drivers. But by following the guidelines listed above, you and your family can be safe on the road, no matter the season.

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