Rhode Island police warn of dangers of driving in winter storms
Recent bad weather had made conditions on the roads treacherous
Bad winter storms aren't unusual in Rhode Island, but motorists should still exercise caution if they need to be out on the road in the bad weather. Police and state officials say recent winter storms have caused numerous car accidents and injuries throughout the state, according to Providence Eyewitness News. In response to more expected bad weather, police have released a number of suggestions that drivers should follow if they find themselves on the road or highway when the weather turns bad.
Latest storm leads to accidents
Rhode Island State Police say that during the night and early morning of February 14 to 15, officers responded to dozens of car accidents and over a hundred breakdowns. One of the most serious accidents involved a RIPTA bus that collided with an impact attenuator on Route 146. The bus was carrying 15 people, three of whom had to be taken to hospital due to minor injuries.
As with other storms this season, the most recent one led to mass transit, roads, and airports being suspended or shutdown across Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Additionally, government officials were again urging motorists to stay off the road given that high winds and plunging temperatures were making whiteout conditions all the more dangerous, according to the Providence Journal.
For those who cannot avoid getting in their cars during the bad weather, some safety precautions should be followed, police say. Drivers are legally required to remove snow from their vehicles, for example, since snow flying off at high speeds can endanger the safety of other drivers. Also, drivers should exercise extra caution around snow plows and large vehicles because flying snow around these vehicles can greatly reduce visibility.
While speeding is dangerous in all weather conditions, it is especially so during a winter storm, with many winter accidents being caused by drivers going too fast for the road conditions. Roads and highways that appear to be clear of snow may still have black ice, which can quickly cause motorists to lose control of their vehicles. Extra caution should also be exercised at intersections where high snow banks may make it difficult to check for traffic.
Car accidents are far from an uncommon occurrence in the treacherous winter months, but unfortunately many such accidents are still caused by preventable and dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding and overly aggressive driving. Winter driving may be frustrating, but the extra time it takes to slow down ultimately saves lives.
Unfortunately, not all drivers abide by even the most basic safety advice. Anybody injured by another driver should contact a personal injury attorney who can inform injured victims of their rights and guide them through the legal challenges that often arise after an accident.