Although Spring beckons, national news sources recently reported a surge in death tolls related to winter storms across the United States. In Rhode Island, we are no stranger to snow storms and the state’s proximity to the ocean makes nor’easters and winter blizzards a common occurrence throughout the winter months. The freezing rain, heavy slush, snow, and ice result in treacherous road conditions. These weather conditions increase the likelihood of a Rhode Island car accident.
In some situations, a winter driving accident is an unavoidable consequence of dangerous roadways. However, drivers can, and should, adjust their driving habits to accommodate these conditions. Motorists should make sure to remove snow and ice from their vehicles before going out in bad weather. The failure to completely clear a car can result in dangerous snow and ice flying off of a car. Further, ice and snow on a car can decrease visibility, resulting in accidents. Moreover, vehicles traveling during these dangerous conditions should increase their braking distance as snow and ice can reduce a vehicle’s ability to adequately grip the pavement. As a Rhode Island car accident lawyer, David Tapalian sees numerous clients hurt each winter in snow and ice related crashes.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHA), reports that over a ten-year period inclement weather accounted for nearly 20% of weather-related collisions. These accidents resulted in serious injuries and fatalities. Last month, Rhode Island state troopers urged motorists to stay off the road after the state experienced 18 weather-related accidents in one day. Moreover, following the series of accidents, Rhode Island Governor Raimondo imposed a tractor-trailer ban until the roads were cleared.