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​Life-saving winter weather driving tip: Stay in your car after an accident

January 7, 2014 by Steven M. Gursten

I recently wrote a blog post with my best winter weather safe driving tips, from my point of view as an auto accident lawyer. Given the treacherous conditions created by the recent snow storms and negative temperatures, I wanted to expand on one of those safety tips today:

If you are in a car accident — especially in the winter when there’s inclement weather — wait inside your car for help. Do NOT get out of your car.

I cannot begin to tell you how many car accident cases I have litigated that have stemmed from people sadly making this mistake.

The reason to stay inside  is because other drivers could very well lose control of their vehicles in the same place you did and hit you, especially if they’re going too fast or not paying attention.

This was the case in a very tragic crash in Illinois, where a groom was killed just an hour after his wedding, when he got out of his car to help a stranded motorist who was walking on the side of the road after her car slid off the road into the snow. Police say William Knight and the woman, Linda Darlington, were both struck and killed by another vehicle. Two other cars following the first also hit the pair, according an article on Yahoo News: “Groom killed while helping stranded motorist just hours after his wedding.”

And in this video, you can see three pedestrians outside of their vehicles on the side of an icy Wisconsin highway, as they’re hit by another car that spun out. These pedestrians were part of a recent 60 car pile-up in Wisconsin that was caught on camera. Many of the accident victims were reportedly exiting their cars and wandering around on the slick highway, according to published reports.

I cannot stress how common this type of accident scenario is.  As an attorney who primarily helps people injured in motor vehicle accidents, I’ve also handled a number of tragic cases that involve pedestrians who are struck by vehicles that lose control on the freeway, or even on local roads.
These types of automobile collisions are entirely preventable.

Remember, if you are walking  around on a slick expressway… you are literally putting your life into the hands of others who often are not paying attention to the road.


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