On the last day of November, a Hopkinsville, Kentucky car accident took the life of a woman who was riding in a pickup truck driven by her husband. According to an eye witness, the truck was not speeding, but it appeared to hit a patch of black ice on a bridge. The truck slid into a guard rail on the other side of KY 1682 bypass, went over the rail and down an embankment. The passenger side of the truck ran into a tree at the bottom of the embankment, causing the death of the passenger and multiple injuries to the driver.
In Louisville, Kentucky, multiple accidents appear to have been caused by ice on the interstates during the December 8th morning rush hour. Just on the stretch of I-64 between 9th and 22nd Streets, police responded to 18 accidents between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Fortunately only three involved injuries that were not life-threatening. Three accidents also occurred on I-71, and 265 was the scene of a multi-vehicle accident. The interstates had not been treated with brine because there was no precipitation in the forecast. National Weather Service hydrologist Mike Callahan attributed the icy conditions to moisture from the heavy rains the area experienced recently still on the roadways.
Icy roads are a fact of life in Kentucky this time of year, and extra precautions should be taken when driving on them. The Weather Channel offers the following tips for driving on ice:
- Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
- Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
- Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
- Keep your lights and windshield clean.
- Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
- Don't use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
- Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
- Don't pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you're likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
- Don't assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.
Remember that you are responsible for an accident you cause while driving, even if the roads are icy, so following the steps given above is important not only for your safety, but it also may keep you from being involved in a lawsuit resulting from an accident. If your vehicle is damaged or you are injured in a car accident on icy roads or in any other situation, please contact a Kentucky car accident attorney to discuss the next steps you should take regarding insurance claims or lawsuits, if necessary.
Black Ice Likely Cause in Fatal Accident; wbko.com; Chris Allen; December 1, 2011
Ice is blamed for accidents on interstates; The Courier-Journal; Joseph Lord; December 9, 2011