Winter Storm Claims 29 Lives in Tennessee
The state of Tennessee—including the Middle Tennessee area—has been dealing with severe winter weather for several consecutive days, including heavy accumulation of ice and snow and dangerous road conditions.
According to an article by jrn.com, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said that 29 people have died as a result of the recent winter storm in the state since it first hit the Southeast last week.
The storm has wreaked havoc on roads throughout the state, and some of the heaviest hit areas have been in Middle Tennessee. Many roads in rural areas were impassable for days due to ice, and salt trucks from the Tennessee Department of Transportation were unable to reach those days. Because temperatures remained below freezing for so long, the ice is only just now beginning to melt in many parts of the mid-state area.
As a result of the ice, many roads, including heavily traveled interstates and highways, have now developed severe potholes that could pose serious risks to drivers even after the ice and snow melt.
Why is Driving in Winter Weather Dangerous?
Winter weather poses a number of hazards to drivers, including:
- Ice makes roads extremely slick.
Perhaps the biggest reason that winter weather is more dangerous than other types of inclement weather is due to the threat of ice accumulation on the road. Ice is naturally very slippery and difficult to gain traction on, and the same principles that cause you to lose your footing when walking on a patch of ice apply to vehicles losing traction. Although all-weather or winter tires can help, ice can be extremely hazardous to drivers and can cause them to completely lose control of their vehicles.
- Vehicles may malfunction in cold weather.
The psychics of car engines and steering/braking systems means that they operate best in warm temperatures. The colder the weather gets, the more sluggish and unresponsive the engine, steering, and brakes can become—especially on older cars. And because it takes even modern cars several minutes to warm up during extremely cold weather, this lack of responsiveness can lead to serious accidents.
- Cold weather accidents can cause other accidents.
Even if you’re well-acclimated to driving in cold weather, many other drivers aren’t, and accidents are a common sight when ice and snow accumulate on the roads. Whether it’s from rubbernecking or simply crashing into other wrecked vehicles, pile-ups are common during winter weather due to drivers overcorrecting while trying to avoid potential hazards. Driving on the highway or interstate in this type of weather presents a serious risk no matter how safely you drive.
- Snow can hide dangerous parts of the road.
Snow accumulation can build up on roads and bridges and hide sections of the road that drivers would normally avoid, such as large potholes or debris in the roadway. Driving on untreated roads that haven’t been plowed can be extremely dangerous, so drivers should always go slow and stay alert for potential hazards up ahead.
The Nashville car accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law know that the months of November through March can be particularly dangerous in the Middle Tennessee area, as heavy amounts of snowfall or ice accumulation can create conditions many drivers aren’t prepared for. Thankfully, the Tennessee Department of Transportation was able to treat most of the heavily trafficked roads in the region to prevent countless accidents.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident during this recent winter weather caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a claim for compensation. Contact us today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or fill out a free online form to see how we can help.