Once again, winter weather is upon us and we're already starting to see the effects on drivers. Stretches of Interstate 81 (I-81) in Maryland were shut down along with portions of Interstate 61 (I-61) in West Virginia. Why? Because freezing rain created icy roads resulting in numerous motor vehicle accidents and serious injuries.
Some of the accidents were deemed minor while others were serious including two overturned tractor-trailers. In Morgan County, there were "accidents all over the place," according to The Herald-Mail.
Our law firm recently wrote an article about the challenges drivers face when trying to travel on icy roads, especially in southern areas where heavy snow and ice are not a common event. In fact, 70 percent of winter weather fatalities were attribute to icy roads, according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
One of the most difficult aspects of driving in this type of weather is the creation on "black ice." This is when ice has formed on the road but is virtually transparent so a driver has a difficult time seeing it. Many drivers wind up losing control of their vehicle, getting involved in a major accident, and suffering a serious injury like a broken neck, torn muscles, or facial lacerations as a result of encountering black ice on the road.
Here's a video illustrating just how dangerous black ice can be for drivers...
If it's sleeting outside or rained recently and the temperature is expected to drop down below freezing during the night, be extremely cautious while behind the wheel. The best option would be to just stay home, but we know there are circumstances which don't afford the luxury of this choice.
If you wind up having to drive on icy roads, go at least 10 miles below the speed limit and have both hands on the steering wheel at all times. Also, be on guard for other drivers who fail to practice safe driving techniques and wind up spinning out of control or sliding into an intersection because they were driving too fast and hit a patch of black ice. If you were involved in this type of accident and suffered an injury, contact our law firm to allow us to evaluate whether the circumstances and type of injury meet the criteria for a claim or suit involving ice or snow conditions and personal injuries. We have experience handling black ice car accident cases.