Avoiding Frostbite and Hypothermia

Cold weather travel and safety includes protection against frostbite and hypothermia. People often jump into their vehicles without bundling up because they are just running to the store or will only be out for a few minutes. However, no one plans on having their car break down or being stranded in freezing temperatures. Nor do they plan on having another car crash into them. It may take time for emergency vehicles to arrive at an accident scene. And, in freezing weather, frostbite and hypothermia can set in faster than you might think.

What Is Frostbite?

According to the National Safety Council, frostbite occurs from exposure to extreme cold. It affects the layers of skin, making extremities turn numb. It has the greatest effect on the fingers, toes, ears, nose, cheeks and chin. When only reaching surface layers, frostbite is not as serious. However, frostbite that reaches deep can make tissue die, turning it black. In the worst cases, it may result in amputation or death.

What Is Hypothermia?

When an individual’s body temperature drops lower than 95 degrees, extreme shivering results. This is the first sign of hypothermia. However, later stages affect bodily functions. Symptoms include drowsiness, exhaustion, shallow breathing, irregular heartbeat and loss of coordination. It can result in unconsciousness and death.

Cold Weather Travel and Safety : Clothing and Car Supplies

What should you wear in winter weather?

  • Several layers of loose clothing
  • Mittens rather than gloves
  • A warm hat to cover your head and ears
  • Warm socks to keep your feet warm and dry
  • Boots
  • Warm winter coat and scarf

What you should carry in your car in cold weather?

  • Portable phone charger/battery
  • Ice scraper
  • Shovel
  • Blankets
  • Additional cold weather clothes
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Flashlight
  • Bag of sand or kitty litter
  • Hazard triangles or LED flashers

(Reference: Firestone Complete Auto Care)

If you believe another driver was at fault for a winter car accident that resulted in serious injury, speak with an attorney. Our attorneys at Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP have decades of experience handling accident cases.