There were 6 dead in a 133-car pileup in Fort Worth Interstate 35W just north of downtown after freezing rain coats the roads. When emergency vehicles arrived there was a total of 26 Fire Department vehicles, 80 police cars, and 13 ambulances on the scene, officials said. A total of 65 people were treated at area hospitals for injuries related to the Fort Worth pileup. This wreck is a perfect example of just how dangerous driving on an icy road can be.
Dangers of Driving on An Icy Road
Texas is not well known for its winter storms but when they do occur the road conditions are very dangerous. There are many dangers to driving on ice. Black ice (sometimes called clear ice) is a thin coating of glazed ice on a surface. On roads, it is almost invisible–making it nearly impossible to tell the difference between the road and the sheet of ice. Often, friction forces between tires and the road are not strong enough to overcome gravity to slow or stop a car on an icy road. Many vehicles here down south are not prepared to drive in snowy conditions. Thus, it is best to stay off the roads altogether instead of risking driving on an icy road.
Accidents While Driving on Ice and Liability
Ice on the roadway presents unique challenges for auto accident attorneys seeking to hold people responsible for losing control of their vehicles. The Act of God defense and Unavoidable Accident defenses are often raised to claim that there was simply nothing the driver could have done. Whether they prevail often depends upon what facts they knew or should have understood about the weather conditions at the time they chose to take the wheel.
Subsequent Accident Risks
If you find yourself in a car accident while driving on an icy road, remember that cars coming along behind you are going to be presented with the same dangerous conditions you were. Thus, it is extremely important that you get out of the roadway to avoid a subsequent collision from making a bad situation worse. If you can move the cars out of the lanes of travel, it is good to do so. If not, you should consider whether you can and safely exit the vehicle and move to safety. Don’t forget to leave your hazards flashing and/or place safety cones/flares when available so as to warn others.
Talk to a Lawyer First to Avoid Harming Your Case
After an accident, insurance adjusters seeking to set up an unavoidable accident defense may call you and try to trick you into agreeing with statements like: “there was nothing anyone could do to avoid it.” Talk to a lawyer before you talk to an insurance company. You cannot and should not state what everyone else could have done to avoid the collision. The truth is, you do not know what other drivers were or were not doing to contribute to the wreck. Get a free consultation before you get tricked into giving up your rights.