According to CBS Minnesota, on Tuesday, March 3rd alone, there were 250 accidents on Minnesota roads. Among one of the tragic accidents was a seven-vehicle pile-up that killed a mother of three.
U.S.A. Today reports that multiple vehicle pile-ups are common in March. The spring season brings unique road hazards. Roads are more likely to be icy as temperatures fluctuate. A road that might be perfectly safe at one time of day, might be incredibly hazardous when temperatures drop and ice forms.
Common causes of multiple car pile-ups include ice and foggy road conditions. When drivers don’t adjust their speed to account for the changed road conditions, accidents can happen. Unfortunately, because the weather can change so suddenly this time of year, drivers may not adjust their speeds to match road conditions quickly enough.
When road conditions are icy, they can create situations where multiple cars slip and slide, making it impossible for drivers to control where they end up. One driver found himself pinned between two semi-trucks. He explained to reporters that it was luck that allowed him to escape.
U.S.A. Today reports that harsh winter conditions lead to a greater possibility of multiple car pile-ups. Since Thanksgiving, the news agency reports 57 pile-ups in which ten or more vehicles were involved. According to the report, the pile-ups were more likely to occur in snow and freezing rain.
So, what can drivers do to protect themselves from pile-ups during this dangerous time of year?
One easy ways drivers can keep themselves safe is to slow down during low-visibility conditions. Adjusting speed to match road visibility and road conditions can prevent accidents. If conditions become particularly bad, drivers are encouraged to pull over. The worst thing a driver can do is stop in the middle of the road, however. If visibility is very low, turn on hazard lights, and keep moving slowly toward the shoulder.
If it is safe to continue, drivers can turn on their flashers to make their vehicle more visible to other drivers.
Drivers are encouraged to maintain a consistently slow speed and try to avoid making sudden motions. Sudden stops, turns, or motions can lead to an out-of-control skid. Maintaining a regular distance between your car and other cars can also ensure your safety.
Drivers who are not experienced with snow or icy conditions should also take a look at the actions of other drivers. If the truck drivers are pulling over to the side of the road, it might be time for you to take a break as well.
Finally, drivers can learn about when cold weather driving is most risky. When temperatures hover between 22 and 35 degrees, the risk is highest. While drivers might think that colder weather is more dangerous, it is actually those warmer weather winter days that create the greatest hazards.
Spring driving safety is everyone’s responsibility. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino is experienced in handling personal injury cases and can help victims of accidents seek compensation for injuries they suffer due to driver negligence at this time of year.