Emergency officials across Iowa say that recent winter weather has led to a dramatic spike in traffic accidents and injuries, resulting in safety officials warning drivers to slow down and take special precautions when venturing out on snowy or icy roads.
Reports from the Iowa State Patrol reveal that there were 24 snow-related accidents in Iowa City over the weekend. Dangerous road conditions were responsible for a crash on I-80 that began when a tractor-trailer lost control and hit an Iowa State Patrol car, a tow truck and a Jeep before finally coming to a rest in the ditch. The accident left the police officer and the driver of the Jeep hospitalized with serious injuries.
Here in Des Moines, a section of I-80 was closed for more than an hour over the weekend following a 20-car pileup that authorities believe was related to winter weather. Unlike the deadly 25-car pileup that occurred around this same time last year, no fatalities were reported in the recent chain reaction crash.
Weather forecaster say that most of the state saw at least two inches of snow, even more here in Des Moines, though the snow was not what led to the most danger for motorists. Instead, meteorologists say that it was the frequent thawing and freezing of the snowy roads that created the unsafe road conditions. This melting created pockets of ice where drivers easily lost traction, leading to dozens of accidents across the state.
Officials in Iowa said that drivers need to adjust to winter driving routines which include changes in the way that motorists operate vehicles. Though ice may not be unusual in the winter for this part of the country, it still presents serious dangers to even experienced drivers. That's because icy roads make it difficult to maintain traction, resulting in a loss of control and ultimately in car accidents.
Experts say that during the winter months, drivers need to remember that speed limits should be seen only as representing what's possible under the best conditions. Slowing down when roads are slick is one of the most important things drivers can do to increase their safety. Slowing down reduces the risk that your car will skid and drift out of control. Drivers also need to avoid tailgating, as the distance required to stop will increase dramatically on snowy or icy roads. Finally, keep your lights on and windshields clean, something that will ensure you maintain good visibility, a leading cause of many Iowa car accidents.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an Iowa car, truck, bus or motorcycle accident and you would like to discuss your case with an attorney, please contact the Iowa car accident lawyers at the Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm PLC today at (888) 278-1027 to schedule a free consultation.
Source: "Officials kept busy responding to dozens of accidents," by Aly Brown, published at Press-Citizen.com.
See Our Related Blog Posts: