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Winter Safety

Students who headed home for Thanksgiving may have seen their flights delayed or cancelled or otherwise found themselves without rides due to heavy winds, winter storms and icy conditions. Winter is definitely here and it marks a time of mass travel as students go home for the holidays and celebrate the end of finals, the holiday season and the coming of the new year.

Along with the winter weather and heavy flow of traffic on the roads comes an increased risk of accidents and danger. Although you can take steps to protect yourself and stay out of harm's way, it is good to be aware of the potential hazards you may face this winter.

Alcohol and Hazardous Conditions Do Not Mix

Whenever a drunk driver gets on the road, that individual puts him or herself, other drivers, pedestrians, and passengers in danger. The danger is increased exponentially when the weather is bad. Drinking and driving results in impaired judgment skills, decreased visibility and attention span and diminished motor skills. Add black ice, snow or sleet to the mix and you have a potential disaster.

To avoid causing injury to yourself or others, our personal injury attorneys in State College recommend you avoid drinking and driving at all costs. However, we know that the holidays are a time for celebration and many people spend time drinking and dining with family and friends. You are encouraged to do all you can to protect yourself from dangerous drivers this winter. If you suspect that someone else on the road may be driving erratically, use caution and keep your distance from their vehicle in case the driver decides to swerve or stop suddenly.

Do Your Part

Part of protecting yourself from the negligence of others is taking active steps to ensure your own safety. Be alert when driving or walking in snow and wintery conditions, and watch for ice or slick patches that could be dangerous. Regardless of whether you are traveling a long distance to get home from school or just going across town when the weather is bad, make sure your car can handle the trip. Go to a local mechanic before you head home to have your vehicle thoroughly checked-tires, windshield wipers, oil and other fluids, heat, brakes and any other major parts.

Make sure you have an emergency kit in your trunk, especially if you will be traveling a long distance. If you hit unexpected bad weather, it never hurts to have an ice scraper, a snow brush and a shovel in case you have to dig out your car. You should also keep jumper cables, a flashlight, a first aid kit and some warm clothes and blankets, just in case you are stranded without a way to get to shelter.

Additionally, you should drive slower, use caution and be aware of the drivers around you. It is harder for a big truck to stop when the roads are bad, so keep your distance. Do not use cruise control and keep your headlights on. These are a few tips to ensure you get home safely.

At Rehmeyer & Allatt, Attorneys at Law, our State College personal injury attorneys represent anyone who has been injured as a result of someone else's poor driving or negligence. To discuss your case, contact us today.

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