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Hundreds of Crashes Caused by Record Snow

Record Snow

Indianapolis, along with most of the state of Indiana, was hit with a winter storm this past weekend.  In fact, according to the National Weather Service the single day snowfall record of 3.4” set back in 1901 was broken on Saturday when the city received 3.6” of fresh snow.  Additional accumulating snow fell on Sunday as well.  With winter weather comes crashes and slide-offs for the next several days.

Hundreds of Crashes

According to Indiana State Police Sgt John Perrine, Indiana State Troopers responded to 197 crashes (31 with injuries), 177 slide offs and assisted 128 motorists statewide on Saturday January 30, 2021 after 4:00 p.m.  In the northern part of Indiana, there were at least 4 crashes on the Borman Expressway (I-80/94) in Hammond during the overnight hours Saturday into Sunday according to WANE.  Multiple passenger vehicles and semis were involved, and further lane blockages occurred.  Unfortunately, one unnamed driver was killed.

Even once the highway crews have a chance to clear the snow and treat the roadways the roads can still be hazardous for travel for some time.  Traffic on Interstate 65 was snarled yesterday when a semi with a box-style trailer flipped after a crash with a passenger car.  Fox59 reported that this collision happened just before 5:30 a.m. near the north split with Interstate 70.  It is not clear if weather played a roll.  The driver of the passenger car was reportedly taken to the hospital and the semi driver was not injured.   The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says some 78% of rollovers involve some kind of driver error, and over 90% of the time, the roll over is not the first problem meaning that some other dangerous event occurred before the rollover accident.

What to do When Roads are Dangerous

According to the NHTSA the main winter weather driving tip is to slow down.  It is harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface. This advice is not just for passenger vehicles though.  According to the Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Manual, commercial drivers should reduce their speed by 1/3 on wet roads and by 1/2 or more on snow-packed roads. Further, Section 392.14 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation provides that: extreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be exercised when hazardous conditions, such as those caused by snow, ice, sleet…adversely affect visibility or traction.  Speed shall be reduced when such conditions exist.  Also, according to the CDL Manual Section 2.10: Do not pass slower vehicles unless necessary and watch far enough ahead to keep a steady speed.

David Craig is the managing partner as well as one of the founding partners of the law firm of Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC. Since he began practicing law more than 26 years ago, he has been fighting to obtain justice for ordinary people against insurance companies, trucking companies, large corporations and others.