Slick Stretch of I-40 Leads to Dozens of Accidents in Mt. Juliet
Since January 2015, more than 30 accidents attributed to hydroplaning have occurred in a single stretch of Interstate 40 in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, including two this past Tuesday.
According to a report by wsmv.com, all of the accidents dating back to January have occurred at mile marker 226 on I-40 East. After learning of the unusually high number of crashes, the Tennessee Department of Transportation investigated the stretch of roadway and determined that the water drainage system in the area was functioning properly. The department is now analyzing data and crash reports to determine what’s causing the accidents.
Until the cause of the crashes is determine, city officials and TDOT workers are making do with a temporary solution of placing electronic message boards warning drivers of the dangers in the area. By alerting drivers of their increased risk of an accident, they hope drivers will slow down and be less likely to hydroplane and lose control of their vehicles.
WSMV reports that a police car was struck by a hydroplaning vehicle in this location in May, and that emergency personnel are at high risk of suffering injuries when responding to crashes in this location.
Tips for Driving on Slick Roads
Although engineers and TDOT crews throughout Tennessee work hard to make sure roadways are free from standing water and retain as much traction as possible during inclement weather, it’s up to drivers to stay safe when road conditions are less than ideal. If you’re ever driving when the road is slick, do your best to follow these tips to stay safe:
- Drive at or under the speed limit.
If you’re driving in light to moderate rain, it’s generally safe to drive at the speed limit. But if you’re driving in a heavy downpour or there’s significant standing water or ice on the road, you should lower your speed significantly. The faster you go, the more likely it is that your tires will lose traction and you’ll be unable to regain control of your vehicle, making you more likely to spin out or hydroplane.
- Take your foot off the gas when approaching a turn or stop rather than braking hard.
Slamming on your brakes is one of the worst things you can do when the road is extremely slick. If you’re approaching a stop sign, traffic light, or turn that you need to make, take your foot off the gas several hundred feet away and allow your car to begin gradually losing speed. By coasting, your speed will quickly decrease and your will reduce your dependence on your car’s brakes, which may not be reliable in extremely slick conditions.
- Avoid following other vehicles too closely.
Vehicles require much more distance to come to a complete stop or slow down in slick weather conditions. That’s why it’s important to never follow other vehicles too closely, especially when you’re driving during heavy rainfall or winter storm conditions. Always allow the length of several full-sized vehicles between your car and the car in front of you to give yourself time to react and your vehicle time to slow down if you need to make a sudden stop.
Driving in bad weather conditions is unavoidable at times, but by staying alert and cautious at all times behind the wheel, drivers can reduce their risks of being involved in accidents due to wet or icy roads.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by a driver who failed to exercise good judgment and caution during bad weather, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. To find out how our Mt. Juliet car accident attorneys can help your family, call Matt Hardin Law today. Just dial (615) 200-1111 or fill out a free online consultation from.