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Salt Lake City Personal Injury Blog

Winter Weather Driving Statistics May Surprise You

For those of us living in locations that have snowy winter weather, we are familiar with the hazards of driving in cold, snowy and icy conditions. Our local weather stations encourage us to stay home if possible during storms and if we must travel to allow ample time to get to our destinations. We are always on high alert for black ice on the freeways especially after dark and for those of us who love to ski, we might even own a set of chains for our tires so that we can make our way up the canyons when regular snow tires fail. Yet, how many of us actually know the statistics surrounding winter weather driving?

Get help with the catastrophic injury you're living with

Catastrophic injuries typically involve the spine or brain. Injuries to these parts of the body can be devastating, leading to many months or years of consequences. Brain and spinal injuries can range from minor to acute, but all of them have an impact that is noticeable to the victims.

Victims of catastrophic injuries need to get appropriate medical care to have the best chances of recovery. Often, these injuries are so serious that there is a risk of death or serious complications. It's important to get to the hospital quickly, so the risk of death is minimized and so that secondary complications can be minimized.

What to do if you spot a negligent driver

Maybe you're driving on a crowded interstate and spot someone who is spending more time texting than they are watching the road. Or maybe you're in a city setting when you realize that another driver is likely under the influence of alcohol.

If you spot a negligent driver, there are two key steps you can take to protect yourself and others on the road:

  • Keep your distance: It's not the right time to be a hero. Rather than attempt to stop the driver on your own, keep your distance so that you're not involved in an accident with them.
  • Call for help: Upon moving to the side of the road or another safe place, call 911 to report what you are seeing. Provide the dispatcher with as much information as you can, such as the make and model of the vehicle, license plate number and what you witnessed.

Get support after a serious personal injury

A personal injury has the potential to change the trajectory of your life. Whether you were once hoping to be a runner but have an amputation from a car crash or you were a skilled artist who is now paralyzed from the shoulders down, it can be a life-changing experience to go through a major injury.

For some people who suffer from personal injuries, the real challenge becomes anxiety and depression. There are a few reasons these mental health issues could arise. Some include:

  • Head injuries that change the way the brain works
  • Depression from trying to cope with or understand an injury
  • Familial pressures

What are some winter tips for avoiding truck crashes?

Winter is here, and with the ice and snow comes a real risk of truck accidents. One of the major causes is when the wind picks up and pushes against the tall trailers these vehicles pull. Combined with ice and snow, they could be more likely to swerve or move between lanes accidentally.

If you have to drive around large trucks this winter, you need to be cautious. Here's what you should remember.

Can I be fined or sued if I don't shovel my sidewalk?

Although there is no federal law regulating snow removal, individual states and cities may have their own laws regarding snow removal. In Salt Lake City, for example, according to ordinance 14.20.070, snow must be removed from sidewalks within 24 hours of a storm. This applies to both residents and business owners. If residents or business owners fail to remove the snow, they are subject to fines that start between $50-$100 (depending on the length of the sidewalk) and increase by $25-$50 each day that the snow remains unshoveled. According to the code residents must:

Skiing and Snowboarding Accidents: What is the Resort's Liability?

In a study conducted by the Univerisity of Utah Medical Center looking at a span of 5 ski seasons, a total of 794 skiing accidents and 348 snowboarding accidents were treated at their emergency department. That's 1142 injuries for just one hospital in the state. It's is apparent why states with thriving skiing and snowboarding industries have legislation created to protect resorts from being sued by every individual who might sustain an injury while skiing or snowboarding. In most situations, ski resorts are not liable for injuries sustained while a person is skiing or snowboarding. Resorts are protected by language that relates to the "inherent risks" of skiing. These risks often include collisions with other skiers, skiing outside of the designated trails, skiing on trails that are beyond the skiers ability and how the trails are groomed and laid out.

Be cautious of avalanche dangers in early December

Snow hits hard in Utah when it falls, and that new, powdery layer might cause some real problems. A layer of weakened snow, which was deposited in October and is described as "weak and sugary," is underneath a new pile of several feet of snow, all of which was dropped over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The conditions in Utah make the chances of an avalanche higher than usual, according to the Utah Avalanche Center. On north-facing, steep slopes, it only takes a small trigger to set off an avalanche that could maim or kill.

Utah Department of Transportation wants to reduce fatal crashes

In 2018, 27 teens were killed in traffic accidents in Utah. In total, 263 people were killed across the state. In 2019, that number has risen to 198 people so far, as of Nov. 13.

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) states that it is the failure to fasten a seat belt that is a leading cause of deaths in accidents. Other causes of collisions include drowsy driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving and driving while intoxicated or impaired. These five behaviors contribute to the majority of fatal crashes in the state.

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