Delaware’s Winter Driving

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By Susan D’Alonzo Ament, Esquire

The next couple of months can bring with them some of the most challenging driving conditions in Delaware. To best avoid unpleasant situations, follow these safety suggestions:

Perform routine maintenance

One of the easiest ways to avoid car mishaps is to drive a safe vehicle. Check and rotate your tires, get a tune-up, and have your oil changed regularly – at least every six months. Keeping up with these tasks ensures that your vehicle will be in top driving condition for Delaware’s often-treacherous winter weather.

Prepare for inclement weather

Due to the unpredictability of East Coast weather conditions, it’s always a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Emergency kits include items that can help signal others in times of distress, enable you to make minor repairs, or keep you protected from excessive temperatures while stalled. These kits can be purchased for as little as $30.00 or you can make your own. Some items that you might want to include are blankets, water, road flares, and tools. 

Drive defensively

Just as the old adage goes, sometimes the best offense is a good defense. When driving, be on the lookout for erratic drivers, slippery roads, snowdrifts, and other unusual conditions. Never drive at speeds that would prevent you from taking necessary corrective actions, particularly in the evening when hazards are more difficult to see. 

If we all take these simple protective measures, we can significantly reduce the number of serious accidents that occur on our state’s roads and highways. Sadly, every day in our law practice, we see victims seriously injured in automobile accidents due to another person’s negligence or reckless driving. Be sure to follow these guidelines to protect yourself and others during one of the most wonderful times of the year.

What to Do if Involved in a Motor Vehicle Collision

Stop your Vehicle: Never drive away from the scene of a collision, even if it’s a minor collision. The vehicles should remain where they are unless they interfere with traffic. Turn your hazard lights on, and set out cones or other warning devices if you have them.

Call 911 or the Police: 1. Even if there are no serious injuries, call to report the collision. An officer will file necessary reports and exchange information.

File a Collision Report with the Police: In some circumstances, the police will not come to the scene of a collision. If this happens, you should still contact the police to report the collision. A police report may help you make a claim with the insurance companies.

Contact your Insurance Company: Report the collision to your insurance company – even if the collision was not your fault.

Take Photos: Use your camera or phone to photograph the collision scene, document damage to the vehicles, and depict how the collision took place.

Retrieve Relevant Information: Record the names and contact information of the other drivers or witnesses; license plate numbers; the make, the model and the colors of other vehicles; insurance information; and the exact location of the incident;

Do not give a Recorded Statement over the Telephone: Do not give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance adjuster without an attorney present.

Seek Medical Attention: Often injuries are not readily apparent in the hours, or even days, following a collision. Unless you are absolutely sure you were not injured, you should be examined by your family doctor or emergency medical professionals.

Keep a File: Keep a file with all of the relevant information regarding the collision in one location for easy reference.

Know your Automobile Insurance Policy: The insurance process will be much easier if you know and understand your policy benefits and coverages before a collision. Never wait until after an incident to learn this information. For example, do you know if you have a deductible, rental car coverage or enough wage loss coverage? If not, call your insurance agent and find out!

If you or a loved one suffers the unfortunate event of a motor vehicle collision or work related accident, the Personal Injury Group Attorneys at Morris James LLP will guide you through the process of obtaining the maximum compensation   for your injuries to which you are entitled under the law.  With five locations throughout the State of Delaware, we are available to serve you.

 

susan_ament_morris_james_am11_sqSusan D’Alonzo Ament is a partner with Morris James LLP and has practiced for 33 years representing personal injury victims. Over the years, Mrs. Ament has found that some women don’t understand the crucial need to have adequate automobile insurance coverage in the event of a serious accident. Susan Ament educates women on these needs every day in her practice and in seminars that she presents throughout the year.

 

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