A car crossed over the centerline striking a semi-truck killing the car’s driver. The wreck happened on State Route 231, Wednesday Afternoon, February 27,2019. Washington State Patrol says that the car lost control on the road’s icy conditions and struck the semi-truck head-on. The driver of the semi was not injured, and the WSP says that the car was going too fast for conditions.
Icy Roads and Head-On Collisions
Every year, there are around 400,000 crashes cause by snowy or icy roads, according to a report by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The primary reason isn’t necessarily the snow, but the slick roads. In some circumstances, snow on the road can be preferable to ice as cars are able to get at least some traction in the snow.
Also, when roads have been cleared of snow, late-night freezing can cause those roads to freeze over making for slick conditions. Many motorists feel a sense of security driving on the roads that are cleared of snow, then they tend to drive too fast for conditions.
The deadliest type of crash is the head-on collision, according to a report by the NHTSA which states that head-on collisions only make up 2 percent of the total crashes in the U.S., but account for almost 15 percent of the fatalities.
The majority of head-on collisions happen on a non-divided highway where one car drifts over the centerline and strikes another car. Icy roads play a big role because one of the reasons that cars drift over the centerline is when the driver loses control of the car due to slick roads.
Causes of Head-On Collision
Although there are many reasons a driver might cross the centerline, there are some common causes. The primary causes are:
- Impaired Driving
- Road Conditions (snow, Ice, Rain, Debris)
- Drowsy/Falling Asleep
- Distracted Driving
Icy Roads play a major role in head-on collisions comprising a significant percentage of all road-condition related crashes.
How to Avoid Icy Road Collisions
When roads are snowy or frozen, the best way to be safe is not to be on them. However, that isn’t always practical, so the next best thing to do is to slow down. Slow moving car might just bump the car or guardrail causing some damage, but a fast-moving collision can do great damage and cause severe injuries.
According to the American Automobile Association there are things a driver can do to reduce the risk of snow accidents.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
- The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds.
- Know your brakes.
- Don’t stop if you can avoid it.
- Don’t power up hills.
- Don’t stop going up a hill.
Do I need an attorney?
If you are injured in a head-on accident or any involving snow and ice, you might need an attorney to help you get compensation. While this is not always necessary, insurance companies will often try to put the blame on you or even the icy roads so that they won’t have to pay as much money.
Don’t let this happen to you. Talk to an attorney who represents the people of Coeur d’ Alene and knows the law and has the experience with insurance companies and courtrooms. The attorneys at Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., can go toe-to-toe with the insurance companies and their lawyers to get you fair compensation for your injuries. Call them at (509) 926 4900 or send them a message.