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What to do after a car accident in the winter

Getting in a motor vehicle accident is a stressful and confusing circumstance no matter what, but extreme weather exacerbates the situation. If you are in a car crash in the middle of the freezing winter, you have unique concerns. First, it is ideal to keep a winter emergency kit in your vehicle, including these items:

  • Windshield scraper
  • Gloves
  • Blankets
  • Road flares
  • Flashlight
  • Cell phone charger
  • Notepad with a pen or pencil
  • Cat litter or safety absorbent
  • Portable shovel
  • Gloves
  • Beanie

If you store these items in your vehicle, you will be much readier to handle the aftermath of a collision. Here is what to do if you get into a wintertime wreck.

Move to a safe area if possible

If you are not severely hurt and your car is operable, move your vehicle to the side of the road. Use your hazard lights while doing this. If you have flares, cones or warning signs, use them to prevent other motorists from crashing into you.

Call the police

Contact local law enforcement, especially if there is any property damage, injuries or fatalities. This is important for an official report of the accident. The accident report will help you when dealing with insurance claims or lawsuits.

Stay warm

It is vital for your health and safety to stay warm after a collision in cold temperatures. When possible, stay in your vehicle and use supplies in your emergency kit. Extra clothing and blankets can help you from developing frostbite or hypothermia. 

Gather evidence

Exchange contact and insurance details with other drivers. Talk to witnesses and document their names and phone numbers. Take pictures of the scene if you can. Ask police officers for a copy of the police report.

Get medical help

If you have an apparent injury, let emergency responders assess it at the scene of the crash. At the very least, make sure you see your physician after the crash to diagnose and treat any potential injuries. 

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