Around $20 million has been spent in the Delaware Valley to clear snow and ice from roads during the first few months of winter 2014. By mid-February, 85 percent of its winter budget had already been spent by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The Delaware Department of Transportation reported more than $9.5 million in expenditures by the same time.
Clearing the roads is costly but necessary. Even with the best efforts of plowing services and more than 116,000 tons of salt on the roads, weather-related motor vehicle collisions continue to increase the risks in the Delaware Valley region. A car accident lawyer in Delaware Valley can help victims of winter crashes to pursue claims against at-fault motorists. Call Flager & Associates, PC today to learn more.
Winter Weather Can Lead to Pileups
Winter 2014 is shaping up to be one of the harshest in decades. This is bad news for motorists, since bad weather in the milder 2013 winter caused hundreds of multi-car pileups. At least 107 multi-vehicle crashes occurred in 2013, with more than 60 percent triggered by bad weather. Multi-car crashes included collisions with at least five vehicles and at least one death; or collisions involving at least 10 vehicles.
Weather events resulting in pileups included:
- Snow Squalls, which caused 20 pileups.
- Icy roads, which triggered 15 pileups.
- Snow and freezing rain, which resulted in nine multicar accidents.
- Fog, which was also the cause of nine crashes involving multiple vehicles.
Pileups are more likely during bad weather due to low visibility, difficulty stopping and the tendency of vehicles to skid on icy roads.
Tips to Avoid Winter Collisions
Most pileups start with one collision and snowball from there because drivers don’t see the impaired vehicles or cannot avoid hitting them. To prevent pileup accidents, you need to know how to drive safely in the winter.
Some winter driving tips to follow to reduce your collision risk include:
- Driving at a speed that is appropriate for the current weather and road conditions. This may be less than the legal speed limit.
- Increasing the following distance between you and the vehicle leading you, leaving a larger gap than you normally would during better weather.
- Braking gently to avoid a skid and always remaining calm even if the wheels begin to lock up.
- Switching to a low gear in order to get better traction, especially when traveling on hills.
- Knowing what to do if you skid. For rear-wheels that skid, remove your foot from the accelerator and steer the vehicle in the direction you want your front wheels to go. For front wheels that skid, shift to neutral but don’t try to steer right away. The wheels skidding sideways will cause the vehicle to slow and traction should return. At this time, steer toward the desired direction.
By following these tips and exercising extra caution during the winter, hopefully you can avoid pileup collisions or other winter crashes in the Delaware Valley.
Flager & Associates, PC can help collision victims. Call a car accident lawyer in Delaware Valley at 215-953-5200 or visit www.flagerlaw.com today to schedule a consultation.