Car owners in the South faced brutal conditions as winter weather wreaked havoc on the roads in the region. Many roads in the region were closed and a winter storm warning issued from the northern tip of the Atlantic coast all the way to the Gulf Coast of Florida. In the aftermath of the storms, winter car wrecks are taking their toll on Southerners. Hurricane-force winds, coastal flooding and a foot of snow all contributed to hazardous road conditions.
In a region that rarely faces winter driving conditions, police urged drivers to stay off the road. South Carolina state troopers reported that they couldn’t keep up with all of the winter car wrecks in the region. I-95 turned into a skating rink during the storm and more than 700 car accidents were reported shortly after the storm began.
Southern cities turned to salt, salt brine, and sand to help make major roads passable, but secondary streets in neighborhoods often remained inaccessible. Further complicating matters, nightly temperature dips can cause ice to form again, making roads unsafe for days after the storm.
Several cities, as well as the State of Georgia declared states of emergency in the aftermath of the storm. Sadly, 17 people reportedly lost their lives to the cold conditions.
Weather forecasters warn that even as the snow passes, cold temperatures will remain in the region. Blowing snow and ice on the road cause winter car wrecks. In addition to staying off the road in extreme winter conditions, motorists can take other precautions if they must travel in bad weather.
Dangerous driving behaviors, like driving while intoxicated or distracted or speeding, become even more risky in winter weather.
Slippery ice and poor visibility lead to even shorter reaction times, so motorists should be extra cautious to help avoid winter car wrecks.
While some areas hit by the storm had not seen snow in nearly 30 years, it is often the icy road conditions that present more of a risk to drivers.
Bridges can become icy in cold conditions because of the freezing air passing under them. Motorists need to take extra care not to speed and even proceed well below the speed limit on bridges and on roads that have not been cleared.
Black ice is another cold weather driving condition that can easily lead to a winter car wreck. Black ice is extremely slippery and very difficult to see on the asphalt. It can take motorists by surprise, causing them to lose control of their vehicle.
Motorists are urged to avoid venturing out in extreme weather if possible. Those who must get on the road should give themselves extra time and be prepared. Emergency medical services will need extra time if a winter car wreck does occur, so having water and other supplies is especially important.
If you are in a winter car wreck, assess your surroundings. It may not be safe to get out of the car if other vehicles are slipping on ice and there is the possibility of a secondary accident. Medical responders stress not putting yourself and others in further danger.
If you or a loved one have been injured or suffered property damage in a winter car wreck, contact the attorneys at McDonald Worley to evaluate your claim.