Until the warmer months arrive, winter weather could strike at any time. It can slow down your daily commute and put a damper on your travel plans. In extreme cases, you may have no other option than to stay off the road.
On average, Hazleton receives nearly 41 inches of snow per year. The national average is 26 inches. While we have yet to see a significant amount of snowfall in 2019, a snowstorm that occurred in November last year is a stark reminder of how dangerous roads can be when winter weather strikes. PennDOT alerted the public about 16 auto accidents and disabled trucks on Interstates 81 and 80.
How common are winter weather accidents in Pennsylvania?
USA Today cites National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics from 2011 to 2015 that places Pennsylvania the third deadliest state in the nation for winter traffic accidents. During that time period, Pennsylvania had an average of 83 fatal crashes during the winter – just behind Michigan and Ohio.
The causes of winter-related car accidents often include:
- Slippery road conditions: Snow, sleet, freezing rain, and black ice are common roadway hazards this time of year. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that 24 percent of weather-related crashes occur on roads affected by winter-weather conditions. On average, these accidents result in 1,300 deaths and 116,800 injuries across the US each year. Slippery road conditions can be especially dangerous on Interstate 81, as a single accident can result in a massive pileup. That’s exactly what happened near Harrisburg in 2017.
- Poor visibility: Visibility can often be impacted by heavy snowstorms, snow squalls, whiteout conditions, and blowing snow after a snowstorm.
- Hydroplaning on wet roads: Flooding and large puddles can impact road safety during the winter. This usually happens when the temperatures rise above freezing after a major snowstorm or after snow has accumulated from previous storms.
What to do if you have been injured in a crash
Navigating Pennsylvania roads safely during inclement weather is simple: just reduce your speed and pay attention. However, not everyone does this – even if they’re aware of the consequences. Some drivers knowingly exceed the speed limit, tailgate other drivers, and weave in and out of traffic. Perhaps they’re comfortable engaging in risky driving behavior because they have been doing it for years.
However, if another driver’s negligent actions resulted in your injury, he or she should be held accountable. An experienced car accident attorney at the Law Offices of Edward P. McNelis has the legal knowledge and experience to pursue justice for you and your family. Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your options. We put your needs first.