Rain, snow, and fog can create hazardous road conditions and can lead to massive pile-ups.
Pittsburgh, PA-The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation was forced to close a section of Interstate 80 in Jefferson County after snowy conditions set off a 59-vehicle crash early Thursday morning. Fortunately, no one was killed but the accident does demonstrate the hazards created by inclement weather.
WSB radio reports that the accident occurred around 8 a.m. as snow began to blanket the highway. Cars began to slow to adjust to changing road conditions, but the drivers behind them couldn’t stop in time and crashed into the cars in front of them. One person involved in the crash told WXPI they tried to stop but couldn’t.
A spokesman for PennDOT told WXPI that 22 tractor-trailers and 37 passenger vehicles but surprisingly only three people suffered minor injuries.
Drivers must adjust their speed and stopping distance when road conditions decline.
The crash left the eastbound lanes of I-80 for several hours.
Before the crash, the PennDOT reduced the speed on I-80 to 45 mph.
The accident is an example of how quickly road conditions can deteriorate and create conditions that lead to a massive pile-up like this one. Ice and snow are often culprits in multi-vehicle crashes, especially in the northeast.
How often does weather play a role in traffic accidents?
The Federal Highway Administration estimates that roughly 22 percent of traffic accidents each year are weather-related. Bad weather can make it hard for a motorist to stop or make it difficult to see. When inclement weather was a factor in a crash, motorists are still liable if their actions are negligent.
Mistakes made in bad weather
Following are some examples of the common mistakes motorists make in inclement weather:
Driving too fast when roads are wet, icy or snowy.
Speeding in low when fog, torrential rain or white-out snow affects visibility.
Following too closely in adverse conditions.
Failing to use headlights in rain, fog or snow.
Drivers have no control over the weather, but they are in control of their actions. Motorists must adjust their driving according to the declining road conditions. Drivers must be vigilant in inclement weather, but the frequency of snow-related pile-ups shows us motorists aren’t paying attention even though lives are at stake. Safety should be a priority but it isn’t, and people are harmed unnecessarily. If you are an accident victim, let USAttorneys connect you with an accident lawyer in Pittsburgh.
A truck driver has a responsibility to be vigilant and make their safety and the safety of other their priority and most do, but some don’t. Whether your car wreck was the result of inclement weather and declining road conditions or driver error, we recommend you speak with an attorney.