Before you get behind the wheel of your snow-covered car, consider these statistics compiled by the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT):
- Over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year in the U.S.
- An additional 2.35 million are injured or disabled.
- Over 475 deaths are caused by black ice on roads.
While there are certainly alternatives to driving in the winter, many people simply do not have a choice but to do so. Driving in winter conditions can be hazardous for unsuspecting drivers who, in their haste to get to and from work, do not realize the implications that the forecast can have on the conditions of the road and possible car accidents. Several degrees in temperature can be the difference between wet roads, and sheer blankets of black ice covering the highway. Every day in the U.S., drivers gamble with their lives, and the lives of other people, when they venture out onto unsafe roads. With the severity of this past winter looming large, it is important to recognize the significant impact that winter weather can really have. After hearing tragic stories, you may wonder “Is it really worth going out there?” Working and providing for your family is one thing, certainly, but venturing out into the blizzard conditions in your rear-wheel drive vehicle to go shopping may be far from wise.
On Wednesday, February 25, 2015, a major car accident took place on Interstate 95 between Etna and Bangor, Maine. The chaos began when several cars slid on the falling snow. Those cars collided with others until the mass of vehicles totaled nearly 40. One trailer truck and one school bus were also involved in the car crash. Maine State Troopers eventually sorted out the cars and took note of the injuries that occurred. Eleven drivers in all were transported to the nearby Eastern Maine Medical Center; two of the eleven people were listed as being in critical condition. After all was said and done, more than two and one half hours had passed. The highway was finally cleared of debris and snow. No persons have yet been charged and police continue to investigate the accident.