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The Morris Law Group's Hamilton Winter Preparation Guide

At the Morris Law Group, we believe in being prepared for winter, so you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe! As Hamilton personal injury lawyers, we have seen the ways that car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and their resulting injuries, such as head, neck, and back injuries may be prevented by some simple steps that ensure your car and home are ready for the winter.

While we are no strangers to blog posts about winter safety, we wanted to create a guide that you can use to be prepared this winter – after all, the snow is coming soon! So, the better prepared you are, the less risk you face!

Five Steps to Get Winter Ready

1) Start with preventative car maintenance

To get prepared for winter, it is important to ensure that your car is in working order and that you have done your due diligence to keep yourself and those you love, safe.

Winter car maintenance checklist

Here is our checklist to prepare your car for the winter:

  • Get a maintenance check-up
  • Change wiper blades to winter blades
  • Consider winter tires
  • Test your car battery
  • Lubricate windows, doors, and door locks
  • Check your cooling system (and ensure the right coolant)
  • Get an oil change

These are not the only ways to prepare your car for winter, but they are a good place to start to ensure you don’t face any surprises when out and about in the snow.

Another important tip is to check your winter tire pressure. Wondering why? We have a blog post, Low Tire Pressure a Leading Cause of Winter Accidents that explains everything you need to know!

2) Stock your car with safety items

Now that your car is safe mechanically, it is time to prepare yourself for unexpected situations that can occur in the winter, like getting stuck on ice, facing unexpected car issues, or getting stranded in a winter storm. It is important that you buy the things you need and keep them inside your car in case of an accident or emergency.

Winter car kit essentials

Here are a few items your winter car kit should include:

  • A brush to clear snow
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Blanket
  • First aid kit
  • Shovel
  • Ice melt
  • Gloves and winter apparel
  • Emergency reflectors
  • Traction mats
  • Booster cables
  • Flashlight
  • Phone or car charger

It is also important you familiarize yourself with our tips for safe winter driving. These tips can help protect yourself and your loved ones as you drive this winter, preventing accidents and ensuring you get where you need to go safely.

3) Prepare inside and outside your home

Not only do you need to prepare your vehicle for winter, but you also need to prepare your home! Being prepared both inside and outside can keep you safe, warm, and cozy even when the worst of winter storms hit. Here out some of our key tips!

Inside your home

We recommend you start by getting your furnace professionally serviced, cleaning your chimney, checking generators, and ensuring your pipes are winter ready. We also recommend you buy water, blankets, food, and flashlights in case of a power outage or bad storm.

Outside your home

Preparing outside is equally as important as being prepared inside. We suggest you start by cleaning and inspecting the gutters, turning off the faucets outside, trimming bushes and trees, and insulating pipes that are in unheated areas. We also recommend you move any major obstacles from your yard and walkways, bring summer furniture inside, and store anything that could be damaged or become a hazard during the cold months.

4) Prepare for snow and ice

No matter how much you watch the news, check the weather, or prepare, odds are a winter storm will catch you by surprise. Whether you weren’t expecting the storm or it was worse than anticipated, being prepared for that storm will can help you ensure the safety of those you love easier and faster.

To be prepared for a snowstorm, we recommend you buy a good shovel, get snow and ice melt (before it all sells out – believe us, this happens every year), and prepare your property (SEE STEP 3).

While you can control your own property and ensure ice and snow are handled properly, you cannot control others. If you are out and about after a snowstorm and find yourself walking on ice, follow our tips to stay safe in Slippery Situations Caused by Winter Weather.

5) Know your obligations as a homeowner

So, you’ve prepared for the snow and ice, your home and car are serviced, and you’re ready for winter - and then the snowstorm hits! So now what? If you are wondering what your obligations are with regards to shoveling and clearing walkways, you have come to the right place! Section 3 of Ontario’s Occupiers Liability Act (OLA) requires homeowners to take reasonable care to ensure that people entering and on their property are reasonably safe. In the winter, this means shoveling snow, clearing ice, and sanding/salting on the property as conditions dictate.

But what about the municipal sidewalk? Learn more about the legalities of shoveling your sidewalk by reading Winter and Homeowner Obligations in Hamilton.

Were you prepared but still suffered an accident or injury during the winter?

Even if you follow this guide, prepare your car and home, and take every precaution possible, the sad truth is that accidents still happen. If you have been in a car accident or suffered another personal injury during the winter, it is important you get the advice of a personal injury lawyer or accident benefits consultant to understand the rights you have and the benefits you may be entitled to.

Contact The Morris Law Group!

Contact The Morris Law Group for a free no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers. We have been practising personal injury law in Hamilton and the Golden Horseshoe for over 60 years. We ensure that your rights are preserved and that you receive the personal attention you deserve. At our law firm, we work on a contingency basis, meaning that you don’t pay until your case settles.

All personal injury firms will work to get you the best settlement, but only at The Morris Law Group will you get the care and support you need at such a difficult time. Contact us today.

Downtown Hamilton on a cold winter evening

Services

  • Car Accidents

    Automobile accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in Canada. You may be entitled to compensation.
    Read More >>
  • Slips and Falls

    Slip and fall injuries are often the result of negligence. Speak with a qualified legal representative today.
    Read More >>
  • Head Injuries, Neck Injuries and Back Injuries

    We ensure that your rights are preserved and that you receive the personal attention you need.
    Read More >>