200 Car Pileup Provides Reminder of the Risk Associated with Harsh Weather Conditions


February 27, 2015

Harsh weather can increase the risk of deadly collisions, which include multi-car pileups.  Storms involving snow, rain and/or fog can decrease visibility and increase stopping distance.  If drivers fail to slow down and drive with extra caution when road conditions and visibility are compromised, a chain reaction crash involving many vehicles can result in a substantial toll in injuries and/or loss of life.

A massive pileup near Battle Creek, MI involving 200 vehicles that occurred on wet roadways in near whiteout conditions provides a graphic example of the danger posed by poor weather.  Video footage of the crash depicted cars slamming into wrecked vehicles.  The crash caused at least one fatality and nearly two dozen injuries. 

When a multi-vehicle pileup involves a lot of vehicles, there can be a multitude of hazards, such as fire, explosions and toxic substances.  In the recent 200 vehicle wreck, a truck transporting fireworks exploded when the fireworks went off.  A truck carrying formic acid also endangered vehicle occupants and residents in the surrounding area.  Formic acid is a colorless liquid found in bee and ant venom that can cause skin, eye and throat irritation along with nausea.  Buses were deployed to the scene to get people a safe distance from the toxic fumes.

There are over 5.8 million crashes nationally each year according to the U.S Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration.  The federal agency reports that 23 percent of these crashes (1,312,000) are weather-related.  Weather-related accidents included in these statistics are defined as collisions that occur during adverse weather (e.g. severe crosswinds, snow, fog, sleet, rain or blowing sand/snow/debris) or on slick pavement (wet, icy, snowy or slushy).  The NHTSA estimates that 6,250 people die and another 480,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes annually.

Of the hazards caused by poor weather, rain and wet pavement cause the highest percentage of weather-related collisions.  Seventy-four percent of poor weather accidents occur on wet pavement while 46 percent occur while it is raining.  Wet roads and poor visibility do not excuse motorists of the obligation to exercise reasonable care to avoid collisions.  Prudent drivers might be expected to reduce their speed, increase following distance and/or drive with their lights on during daylight hours. 

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case

If you are injured by a driver who fails to exercise proper caution during bad weather, you might have a right to financial compensation.  Our personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.  No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333).  You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat. 

Sources:

 http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/10/us/michigan-traffic-pileup/index.html

 http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/weather/q1_roadimpact.htm

Category: Auto Accidents

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