Douglas V. Stoehr, Attorney at Law
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t's that time of year again when we should start thinking about winterizing our vehicles!
Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr would like to offer a few tips that will help with this process.

 

  • Check your tires - You should always check to make sure your tires are fully inflated to manufacturer's specifications.  Usually this information is on the inside the driver's side door. 
  • Check your brakes - A mechanic should be able to do an evaluation of the brake pads and braking system to ensure that they are working properly.
  • Check your fluid levels - You should always check your oil, windshield washer fluid, and transmission fluid.  However, you should also be aware of your coolant levels.
  • Check your battery - A battery that is not working properly may result in you being stranded this winter.
  • Check your windshield wipers - If your windshield wipers are not properly clearing the windshield you may have an obstructed view of what's ahead.
  • Put together an emergency kit containing a cell phone, a heavy blanket, gloves, salt/sand, a flashlight, water and non-perishable food.


Got all of that? Now that you have properly winterized your vehicle, here's some advice to prevent an accident from occurring this winter.  

 

  • You should always decrease your speed and leave at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.  
  • Remember to brake gently to avoid skidding, and to use low gears to keep traction on hills.
  • Always keep on your lights and keep your windshield clean to increase visibility.  
  • Be particularly careful on bridges and overpasses, which will freeze first. 
  • NEVER pass snow plows because it's likely that the road in front of the trucks is much worse than the road behind them.  

Of course, the best tip is that if you don't have to travel in winter weather...DON'T! 
However, despite our best efforts, sometimes an accident is unavoidable.  If an accident does occur, it's important to know that Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state.  Comparative negligence simply means that if your negligence contributed to the accident, your damages will then be reduced by the amount of your negligence.  So please take every precaution to decrease the chances of contributing to an accident, and properly prepare your vehicle and yourself for the conditions ahead. 


Some preventative maintenance and exercising a little caution can go a long way in preventing an accident from occurring in the first place, and protecting you from liability.  However, if you are injured in a vehicle accident this winter please allow Attorney Douglas V. Stoehr to review your claim by calling our Altoona, PA law firm at 814-946-4100.

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