As our readers are aware, winter weather conditions, especially this year with the polar vortex hitting the greater Chicago area, can pose many hazards to drivers and can increase the probability of motor vehicle accidents if caution is not used. With such dangerous conditions, it is even more important that drivers use more caution than they normally would while driving. Drivers are already under a legal obligation to maintain a safe driving environment for others on the road by use caution and safe driving. With extreme winter weather, drivers should be on extra alert to keep themselves and others safe.
The recent snow and plummeting temperatures were a major factor in a multi-vehicle pile-up on I-94, according to ABC News. An additional report by ABC News stated that 46 vehicles were involved in the crashes, including 18 semi-trucks. Three people were killed, and 22 were injured when several passenger cars were crushed between or underneath semi-trucks. The police described that one initial crash led to a number of other chain reaction crashes. One sergeant described how it just “multiplied into what we have now,” describing the final scene of the accidents.
The accidents were so severe that all eastbound lanes of the interstate remained closed overnight, and could not open again until the next morning. Tow trucks had to arrive and clear one vehicle at a time, as those sitting in the backed-up traffic were thankful that they were somehow untouched in this giant multi-vehicle collision. One driver who survived commented on how the snow was coming down hard and blowing, and that it was hard to see all of the traffic in front of her. Witnesses described how heavy lake effect snow was falling at the time of the accident and created white-out conditions.
It is imperative to use caution when driving, and especially so in dangerous winter weather conditions. It is important that, unless you have to, to not drive in these white-out conditions. If you are on the road when these conditions suddenly appear, try to pull over somewhere to wait out the conditions until there is better visibility. The Weather Channel also advises drivers to decrease their speed and leave plenty of room to stop. It is harder to stop quickly when road conditions are slippery, and due to these conditions, it takes longer and more distance for a vehicle to come to a complete stop. This is what can often result in rear-end collisions.
Our lawyers empathize with those who have suddenly and unexpectedly lost loved ones or suffering serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents like these. Even in bad weather, drivers deserve safety and should remain free from personal injuries and fatalities. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash due to someone else being negligent on the road, such as speeding in winter conditions or following too closely, you may have a legal claim against them. Our attorneys have fought to protect the rights of injured victims for over 20 years and may be able to help you recover fair compensation for the harms caused to you. Call us for a free consultation, and we can determine if you have a legal cause of action.