Winter weather conditions can lead to deadly vehicle pileups on the highway. In addition to fatalities, pileups can leave people seriously injured and unable to work. If you have been hurt in an accident, you should consult an attorney. You may be entitled to compensation and other damages from any driver responsible for your injuries.
Five Killed in Pennsylvania
In January, five people were killed in a huge pileup on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Another 60 people were injured in a chain reaction of crashes, according to authorities. The accident occurred early in the morning, about 35 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Police said that a bus packed with foreign tourists traveling from New Jersey to Ohio lost control and smashed into other vehicles. Officers blamed fog and snow for difficult conditions.
Two Die in Virginia
Two drivers perished in August when multiple semi-trucks crashed at the Pulaski-Wythe County line in Virginia. Six vehicles were involved in the pileup, according to authorities, who said miles of backups resulted from the incident.
Fires in Minnesota
Nine people were sent to the hospital after a 29-vehicle pileup in Minnesota in November. Several semis caught on fire during the crash, sending plumes of smoke across Interstate 94. The huge crash occurred near Monticello after heavy snowfall in the area.
Deadly Pileup in Wyoming
In March, three people were killed in Wyoming when more than 100 vehicles crashed into one another in a pileup spanning several miles. The accidents occurred during heavy snowfall on Interstate 80 and shut down the highway for the day.
State troopers arrived to discover more than 100 cars divided between two major crashes. Another 30 people were taken to the emergency room with injuries. A video posted to YouTube showed a car that had been virtually destroyed, stuck under a large truck.
50-Car Crash in Chicago
In April, more than 50 vehicles were embroiled in a pileup in Chicago during snow and icy conditions. The incident, which occurred on the Kennedy Expressway, required 12 ambulances to deal with the victims. 14 people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, and another 45 were evaluated by medics at the scene. Authorities said that a total of 53 vehicles were involved in the accident.
How to Stay Safe
Everyone wants to avoid deadly accidents. There are many steps you can take to ensure you stay safe behind the wheel.
Equip Your Car
Before setting off, check your vehicle. Make sure that your tires contain enough air, that your gas tank is half-full, and that you have tire chains for driving in snow. You should also be sure to keep your car stocked with an ice scraper, warm blankets, and other equipment for emergencies.
Stay Off the Roads
As much as possible, try to avoid driving during heavy snow or periods of poor visibility. If a journey is not essential, do not make it. Every minute spent on the highway during poor conditions adds to the risk that you could become involved in an accident.
If you must take a journey and find yourself caught in difficult conditions, there are driving techniques that can help keep you safe. Drive slowly enough that you can stop in the event of an accident ahead of you. Keep six and ten vehicle lengths between you and the car in front of you. Avoid the temptation to use cruise control, which can make you less responsive to unexpected incidents.
Be prepared for crashes on the roadway ahead of you. Wherever possible, pull over and stop to avoid being caught in a pileup. Multiple parties may be held accountable for truck accident injuries. The best way to ensure that you are not one of them is to do your best to avoid accidents in the first place.