Weather was the prime factor in the Pennsylvania highway pile-up of approximately 60 vehicles, injuring 70 people and killing 3. Much like the conditions we experienced in Iowa last week, motorists reported that ‘one minute it was clear’ and the next, ‘a snow squall created white-out conditions’ extending two city blocks. Drivers slowing or stopping to adjust for the blinding conditions were struck by other motorists resulting in the massive accident.
Every season, winter weather in Iowa and across the country create dangerous conditions for drivers and their passengers. According to an NHTSA study, on average, there are over 5,760,000 vehicle crashes each year. Approximately 22% of these crashes – nearly 1,259,000 – are weather-related. Weather-related crashes include crashes that occur in adverse weather such as rain, sleet, snow, fog, blowing snow, slick pavement and more. On average, nearly 6,000 people are killed and over 445,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year.
Many accidents result when drivers do not adjust their driving for conditions. Traveling too fast on slick pavement or when driving is obscured by rain or blowing snow is very dangerous to all motorists sharing the roadway. Driving a motor vehicle comes with a legal responsibility, or a duty of care, to drive in a way that will not hurt other motorists or pedestrians. The ‘duty’ of all drivers is to follow the rules of the road AND to exercise common sense. If someone is driving in a way that is contrary to how a ‘reasonable person would act’ – such as not reducing speeds while traveling in a snowstrom resulting in an accident – they likely breached their duty of care and may be found at fault.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or truck accident, contact the Des Moines Law Offices of Stoltze & Stoltze, PLC for help today. We have extensive experience handling motor vehicle accident injury claims for clients in Des Moines and throughout Iowa. We have been helping car accident injury victims since 1977 and have a proven record of success. Call today.