A massive winter snow storm, which dumped over two feet of snow in some parts of Virginia (VA) this weekend, played a role in four traffic fatalities.
One of the tragic car accidents involved 36-year-old Michael Marincic who died when his pickup truck slammed into a tractor-trailer on Interstate 66 (I-66) in Fauquier County, according to The Virginian-Pilot. My sympathies go out to his friends and family.
Over 3,000 car crashes and disabled vehicles were reported to Virginia State Police throughout the weekend.
This was one of the worst storms in the history of the Commonwealth. Even in areas that didn’t receive much snow (i.e. Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, etc.) instead received a healthy dose of rain, which eventually froze due to low temperatures. This means many of the highways and roads in the Hampton Roads area had black ice, a major road hazard since it is virtually transparent and causes your car to potentially spiral out of control. In fact, 70 percent of winter weather fatalities were attribute to icy roads, according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
In many portions of Northern Virginia, the temperature is not expected to increase much for the next few weeks so expect snow and ice to remain on the roads throughout the holiday season. This means you need to be prepared and take necessary safety precautions.
Here are some basic ice and snow driving safety guidelines you should follow…
- Drive with your headlights on and slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, etc.
- Winter road conditions often result in longer stopping distances. Give yourself room.
- Avoid abrupt actions while steering, braking or accelerating to lessen your chance of losing control.
- Look farther ahead in traffic.
- Don’t cut in front of trucks since they take longer to stop.
- Avoid using cruise control or overdrive.