Winter Weather in St. Louis Treacherous for Motorists

Winter Weather in St. Louis Treacherous for Motorists

Sad news was reported recently in Southern Missouri, where an 11-year-old boy was killed in a crash Missouri State Police attributed to ice covering the highway. Troopers say the crash occurred when the driver of the sport-utility vehicle in which the boy was a passenger lost control, careening into the path of another large vehicle.

Snow street

The child was pronounced dead at the scene.

This kind of horrific crash is far too common this time of year, with more people traveling for the holidays. Contributing to this is the fact road conditions are poorer, visibility is limited and conditions can deteriorate very quickly. Vehicles that aren’t maintained are more prone to problems, as are drivers who are impaired, distracted or inexperienced.

Our St. Louis auto accident attorneys know it’s not an option for everyone to hibernate for the winter. People have to get to work and school and the grocery store, etc. This means we all must commit to becoming educated on safe winter weather driving practices.

As the Missouri Department of Transportation reports, winters in this state are often unpredictable, with snowstorms setting in sometimes without warning. There is also the risk of “black ice” which is very difficult if not impossible for motorists to spot or avoid before it’s too late.

In the St. Louis region, the DOT has more than 200 snow-removal trucks equipped with rock salt spreaders and plows. In the event of a serious storm, some 400 employees work 12-hour shifts around-the-clock to spread some 30,000 tons of salt to increase road safety along the 6,400 lane miles of the interstate highways. Those are just the state-owned areas.

Yet, serious and even deadly crashes continue to occur. Already this month, the first winter storm of the season resulted in four traffic-related deaths in Missouri. The first involved a 35-year-old driver from Noel who crossed the center line and was broad-sided. He and his 34-year-old passenger were both killed, while the driver of the other vehicle suffered minor injuries.

In another case, a 30-year-old driver in Blue Earth County slid into the path of a semi truck and was later pronounced dead at the scene.

In Carver County, a one-car fatal accident that resulted in the driver’s death was attributed to icy conditions.

Authorities reported on the first morning of the storm, there were 475 crashes and more than 700 spinouts across the state.

MDOT recommends travelers in winter limit their drive time whenever possible. When travel is essential, the following tips are offered:

    • Slow down and adjust your speed to current conditions
    • Give snowplows ample room and do not try to pass them
    • Always wear a seat belt
    • Keep mirrors, lights and windows clean
    • Watch for other vehicles struggling with road conditions
    • Keep your tank at least half full
    • Don’t pass other vehicles on or near bridges
    • If you don’t feel comfortable driving, pull over and park at the nearest safe place

Additional Resources:
Icy road conditions blamed for fatal crash Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, Staff Report, Lebanon Daily News

More Blog Entries:
Floyd-Tunnell v. Shelter Mutual Ins. – UM Coverage in Missouri, Partial Exclusions and Stacked Coverage, Aug. 30, 2014, St. Louis Accident Lawyer Blog

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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