If you’ve traveled a long distance to be with friends and family for the holidays, then today no doubt finds you recuperating from a post-Christmas malaise brought on by the steady consumption of gravies, festive meats, and the more than occasional glass of egg nog. But as you get ready to leave whatever cozy environs you’ve resided in the past few days, it’s time to start thinking about the drive back home.
Even if you escaped winter blizzard conditions on the first leg of your trip, you can’t be sure you won’t encounter such dangerous circumstances upon your return. Therefore, we’d like to share with you some additional safety tips as provided by the State Police in Indiana.
One of the best things you can do is plan ahead. Have a Plan B in mind if you find that the route you were going to take is compromised by snow and ice, especially if your trip is lengthy. Hopefully there will be some cushion in what time you have to leave so that you’re not pushing yourself past the point of safety.
To check up on the weather, visit the website of the National Weather Service or some similar trustworthy site that provides up-to-the-minute weather information. The state that you’re traveling to or through should also have some sort of local resource that relates information pertaining to road closures, traffic patterns, weather, and news about crashes and other road obstacles.
One thing you should not do, though, is be an annoyance to law enforcement officials. When the weather is particularly rough, such agencies focus their resources on emergencies. They may not even respond to motor vehicle collisions if the accident did not result in an injury and no one is in immediate danger. Therefore, when you need to know about weather or road conditions, seek out one of the aforementioned online sources. Don’t tie up the phone lines of the police when they could be helping someone truly in need.
As stated above, when the weather is particularly troublesome, an automobile collision might not necessarily entail a response from the authorities if an injury has not occurred. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exchange information with the other party. After all, lingering damage could present itself further down the line. If possible to do so, move the vehicles to a safe area. Then, obtain the person’s phone number, name, driver’s license, license plate, automobile type, and perhaps most importantly, their insurance information. Getting this out of the way early will ensure you’re prepared should a dispute arise.
And finally, recognize that states often enact emergency procedures which limit where one can park during a blizzard or similar event. Understand these rules so that you don’t head to your vehicle only to find that it’s been towed away.