NC Traffic Safety Watch: Drivers Push through Ice Storm

Freezing rain recently made its way through Asheville and wreaked havoc on our roadways. According to the Citizen Times, temps sat around 29 degrees and ice and sleet covered the sidewalks and roads. While all travelers were in danger, the ones near overpasses and bridges faced the worst risks.
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Officials with Public Works spread sand and salt on the roads to help melt the ice. Unfortunately, they were only able to do so much before conditions worsened. Travelers were urged to stay home. It was so bad that the Asheville bus service stopped for the day.

Our Asheville accident attorneys understand that there were still many accidents that were reported in the city, despite the warnings. Freezing rain and ice caused a number of drivers to lose control on our roadways. It was considered to be so dangerous that WNC didn’t hold class. Also closed were UNC Asheville and Western Carolina University and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

“Everything is encased in ice. To get from your car to a building, that is really scary right now. It’s a sheet of ice.” said a state Highway Patrol dispatcher.

Storms like these come and go. It’s important that we’re prepared to get through them safely. Ultimately, you’re urged to stay home and stay off of our roadways. If you have to drive, please follow the safety tips listed below.

Winter Weather Driving Safety Tips from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT):

-Before leaving, make sure that your mirrors and windows are clean and clear. This is going to help to maximize your visibility. Check the condition of your windshield wipers. You want to make sure they’re working properly.

-Slow it down. Speeding only increases your risks for an accident. Traveling slower will help you to better point out and react to roadway dangers.

-Increase following distance. Tailgating is going to increase risks for an accident. You want more time to react to dangers.

-Be cautious when traveling near snow plows, application trucks, spreader trucks and brine application trucks. Never travel too closely to these vehicles. Stay out of their blind spots. If you can’t see the driver, they cannot see you.

-Avoid engaging in distractions. In winter weather driving conditions, you need your full attention on the road.

-Remember that overpasses and bridges accumulate ice first. When approaching them, use extreme caution. Avoid applying brakes when you’re on a bridge.

-If you start to slide on the ice, take your foot off of the gas pedal and turn your steering wheel into the direction you’re sliding. Don’t brake. That’s only going to cause more loss of control.

-Before passing through an intersection, make sure you come to a complete stop and check in all directions for oncoming traffic. If the traffic lights are not working at an intersection, treat it as if it were a four-way stop.

-Always travel with a cell phone. If you get into trouble, contact the Highway Patrol by calling *47. In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1.

If or a loved one has been involved in a traffic accident, contact the Lee Law Offices today for a free and confidential appointment by calling 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

NHTSA: Injuries Spurred By Recalled, Defective Products, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, January 28, 2013

North Carolina Road Rage Results in Injuries, Fatalities, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, January 26, 2013

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