Road with Snow

A spate of deadly car accidents that’ve occurred over the past few days has re-emphasized for New York motorists the importance of driving safely in snowy months. In this article, we’ll examine the causes and costs of these crashes, and then present a list of safe driving tips which can, if followed, help you keep yourself, your family, and others on the roadway safe.

STORY #1

The scene: The Cross Bronx Expressway, in the northbound lanes at Webster Avenue, early last Tuesday morning. (Approx. 5:45am.)

The circumstance: A multi-vehicle pile-up that killed 3 and injured 5 others.

Coming fresh off Christmas weekend, this sequence of catastrophic accidents devastated families and delayed traffic already heavy with post-holiday commuters. A triumvirate of large vehicles were cited as the precipitate agent of the massive crash- the lead, a tractor-trailer braking abruptly, the second in line a pick-up truck braking abruptly in turn, and the third, yet another tractor-trailer, which was not able to stop in time. The resulting collision caused a chain reaction, which sent other, smaller vehicles reeling in its wake. One such smaller vehicle, a Toyota Corolla, was launched clear onto the highway median. The pick-up was wedged underneath the semi. Three occupants of this pick-up were pronounced dead at the scene; two others were taken to a nearby hospital in serious condition. One occupant of the Toyota was also taken to the hospital.

No indiscretions on the part of any of the drivers is currently suspected. Alcohol consumption did not seem to play a part in the crash and the records and licenses of all drivers were clean. However, the investigation is ongoing.

In the aftermath, all eastbound lanes of the highway were closed, covered in glass and debris, and delays of up to two hours were reported.

STORY #2

The scene: Larkfield Road, near Fifth Avenue, in East Northport around 9:50pm on Monday, December 26th.

The circumstance: Another multi-vehicle accident, involving at least four cars. 1 woman killed, another man seriously injured.

This accident involved an explosive ending, with one car crashing into a pizzeria. According to authorities, the deceased woman hit a Nissan as it slowed in traffic, causing her vehicle to spin. A Mercedes, clipped by the spin-out, rammed into the back of a Cadillac. It was the Nissan that skidded off the road and wound up in Mario’s Pizza, a calamitous incident that seriously injured the 37-year-old driver. The driver of the Mercedes and her children were taken to a hospital with less serious injuries.

WINTER SAFETY DRIVING TIPS ACCORDING TO THE AAA

Neither of these accidents involved snow or otherwise icy conditions, but their mere existence re-emphasize the dire need for all motorists to be informed (of safe driving tips) and alert (to their surroundings). Most importantly, though, is to never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Here are some winter-weather driving tips, courtesy of the AAA, that will help prevent future accidents:

  • Safety Tip A1: Always wear your seat belt! Small fender benders caused by sliding over ice or snow can become deadly or severely injurious incidents if seat belts aren’t properly worn.
  • Drive slow. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and reaching your destination quickly is never more important than your personal safety.
  • Properly inflate your tires. Contrary to some rumors on the subject, tires should be inflated, year-round, to the factory-recommended PSI for their particular make and model.
  • When heating up your car, make sure you are not in an enclosed area such as a garage.
  • Driving drunk or under the influence of drugs are both obvious illegally. However, a less illicit but at times equally dangerous act is driving while fatigued. When driving, always make sure that you are properly rested. In winter weather, it’s of paramount importance that your senses stay sharp, and fatigue drains drivers of their sharpness.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in the cold or on snowy or icy surfaces.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on slippery surfaces such as icy, snowy or otherwise wet roads.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Leave plenty of time and space between you and the vehicle in front of you, or when stopping at a stop sign or stop light, as it takes much longer to bring a vehicle to a complete stop on an ice- or snow-covered road. The general (dry road) rule-of-thumb of following 3-4 seconds behind another vehicle should be increased to 8-10 seconds in slippery conditions.
  • Gently applying the brakes is the best method of regaining traction and avoiding skids.

Kaplan Lawyers PC

Have you or a loved one been injured in a car accident? At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we specialize in vehicular accident law. Our team of knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys will gather together the comprehensive details of your case, fight determindely for you in court, and provide quality assistance throughout the entirety of your legal process. Not sure where to turn? Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC today. Our consultations are a free and easy way to begin learning about your rights.