As readers in the Chicago area are well aware, winter is upon us and we have already seen record-breaking temperatures and precipitation. These conditions make everything more difficult, including travel. The newest round of cold brought a series of accidents that shutdown I-65 The especially dangerous thing about highway motor vehicle and trucking accidents caused by severe weather conditions is the plausibility for multiple succeeding crashes. Many people are driving on high speeds on Chicago area interstates and when there are a higher number of people who are driving at higher speeds than on normal roads, there is less stopping distance and less time to react.
According to ABC 7, multiple crashes occurred last week on I-65, about two hours South of Chicago. These crashes resulted in portions of the interstate shutting down. According to the report, the preliminary investigation revealed that a semi-truck had slowed for a crash that had occurred directly in front of him. Because this semi-truck had to react to a crash in front of him, the vehicles behind the semi had to react to the semi-truck slowing down. Unfortunately, the vehicles behind the semi were not able to stop in time because they were traveling too fast for the road conditions or following too closely. Nine semis and four cars were involved in the crash, however, as a result of a chain of vehicles needing to react to the initial accident, further crashes occurred. It is unknown how many vehicles were involved in the secondary crashes.
When driving on highways, especially during winter months where roads are slippery and icy, it is important to be especially cautious. When sharing the highways with semi-trucks, drivers need to allow enough room to come to a stop if needed. Also, according to News Day, when driving by semi-trucks drivers need to stay out of the “no zone,” the area around large trucks and buses where crashes are most likely to occur. This means keeping a safe following distance and staying out of the truck driver’s blind spot. Driving slowly and increasing your following distance will allow you plenty of time to stop. When breaking in snowy conditions, pump the pedal gently for non-antilock brakes and use continuous pressure for antilock brakes. If you skid, ease your foot off the gas, and steer in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go.
It is unfortunate and common that drivers do not exercise the extra caution needed when driving in winter conditions on highways. Had the drivers in this instance used precautions such as increased following distances or slower speeds, these accidents may have been prevented. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries as a result of negligent highway drivers, you should seek an attorney to determine if you have a legal cause of action in which you can obtain compensation for your losses. Our firm is experienced in handling all types of injury and accident matters for injured victims and their families, and would be happy to discuss your case in a free consultation. Call our firm today, and we may be able to help you get the justice you deserve.