On Tuesday, November 12, traffic came to a standstill on State Route 8 in Cleveland, Ohio. A massive chain-reaction crash occurred as winter weather moved through the area and worsened road conditions.
How do chain-reaction crashes happen?
Although the Cleveland chain-reaction crash was devastating for many, dangerous road conditions during the winter months increase the risk of accidents like these. Winter weather makes road conditions slick and difficult for vehicles to stop.
Chain-reaction crashes can happen when visibility is poor due to snow. When one vehicle slides and crashes into the vehicle up ahead, causing them to spin out, the other vehicles behind them can’t see the accident until it’s too late for them to stop. The roads might be too slick for the vehicle’s brakes to work, resulting in a slide and impact.
How can I reduce the risk of ending up in a car accident?
Up to 70% of the roadways in the U.S. are in regions subject to winter conditions like heavy snow and ice. Drivers are recommended to be extremely cautious and to employ defensive driving techniques.
Slow down and give yourself more space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. This gives you more time to recover if you or the driver ahead loses control of their vehicle on the icy road.
While it’s recommended to slow down, be sure that you don’t drive at a snail’s pace, either. Driving too slowly can be just as dangerous as driving too fast, especially if visibility is low.
Keep your vehicle in good shape to avoid any potential maintenance-related problems that could increase your risk of an accident. Make sure your windshield wipers properly remove snow from your windshield and that you always scrape off the snow from your car when you drive.
What do I do if I’m in a car accident?
If you end up in a car accident on winter roads, do your best to stay calm. Turn on your car’s hazard lights and move yourself and your passengers to a safe location.
Contact the police or 911. If you can, obtain the insurance and contact information from the other driver or drivers. It’s also a good idea to obtain the information from any witnesses who might have seen the accident.
Once you’ve received medical treatment and the police have visited the scene of the accident, contact a car accident attorney to prevent the insurance companies from taking advantage of you. If the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence on the winter road, you could be compensated for your medical bills.