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Located at the heart of the nation’s freight network, the St. Louis region has emerged as a major logistics hub. Throughout the year, all kinds of vehicles (even large 18-wheelers) frequent its avenues and interstates.
This means that the traffic can sometimes be downright awful. Add to it the freezing winters of the city, and driving smoothly can become a real challenge. What’s even worse is that St. Louis already has a bad reputation in terms of road safety.
It was recently ranked as the most dangerous city across America, with one of the main reasons being a high number of road accidents. This article will exclusively focus on St. Louis’ wintertime road accidents – their causes, the aftermath involved, and road safety tips.
Main Causes for St. Louis Accidents in the Snow
Let’s explore the main reasons that make St. Louis road accidents in the snow common.
It is not uncommon to find coats of ice covering the roads of St. Louis. On average, the city experiences heavy snowfall between November and March.
Every season, interstates across the city and county are full of sleet and freezing drizzle. As a result, there are untreated surfaces and icy sidewalks that make driving extremely challenging. The roads become slippery, making it difficult to maintain control over the vehicle.
Even basic driving actions such as braking, changing lanes, and accelerating can become dangerous. When vehicle tires are struggling to maintain traction on slick surfaces, accidents become inevitable.
In recent years, St. Louis’ snowfall has averaged a little over 16 inches every season. The danger of fog makes the winter season a challenging time to drive. Matters only become worse when a snowstorm or blizzard comes into the picture.
Keeping the windshield clear of fog at all times is of utmost importance. Sadly, many drivers do not clear off more than 70% of the windshield, thereby limiting road visibility. This makes them highly vulnerable to a crash.
A study discovered that St. Louis was the worst city in Missouri in terms of traffic. On average, it takes around 23 minutes for a commute. This is a concerning statistic because heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions do not make a healthy combination.
They often lead to road rage and irrational decisions on the part of many drivers. Some commuters are already late for work or important commitments and may feel tempted to behave recklessly. This includes speeding, overtaking, ignoring traffic signals, trespassing no-passing zones, etc.
Traffic snarl-up and the road rage that follows is the third main cause of wintertime road accidents in St. Louis.
A Tough Legal Battle and Fair Compensation
Car accidents across St. Louis may be of different types – head-on collisions, rollover accidents, side-impact crashes, etc. Depending upon the crash’s impact and the number of vehicles involved, the situation can become fatal.
This is especially true of accidents involving a massive 18-wheeler truck, semi-truck, or trailer. Victims often suffer from life-threatening injuries like brain and spinal cord trauma, paraplegia, broken ribs, and more.
Besides the fatal injuries, there is also a tough legal battle involved for which a car accident lawyer in St. Louis is required. Otherwise, victims risk entrapping themselves in a legal maze. Reliable attorneys gather evidence, conduct a thorough investigation, and fight in court to secure fair compensation.
According to TorHoerman Law, this process can often be taxing because of multiple liable parties being involved. This makes it more challenging to prove negligence or fault in court. Moreover, the legal battle takes much longer to resolve.
Road Safety Tips for the Winter
When the climatic conditions across the St. Louis region fall below 32 degrees, drivers must prepare themselves with extra road safety measures. Given below are some useful tips to avoid the possibility of any mishaps.
- One must not attempt to switch lanes suddenly. It is best to stick to a single lane and avoid overtaking or aggressive acceleration.
- Another important tip is to keep the windshield defrosted at all times. This includes cleaning it from the inside and out at regular intervals. Such a practice will ensure good visibility on the roads.
- Though distracted driving is bad under any weather condition, it gets only worse during the winter. A vehicle often skids on the snow and may get out of control. It is important to stay vigilant of the controls and the surroundings.
- Another crucial thing to remember is to keep the vehicle’s headlights on low beam at all times. This includes the daytime hours because bright lights will reflect fog, further diminishing visibility.
Let’s close by mentioning some of the most dangerous intersections or roads across St. Louis – Interstate 64 and Hampton Avenue, Interstate 44 and Jefferson Avenue, and Interstate 70 and Salisbury Street. Drivers must be extra careful along these roads during the winter.
The mad office hour rush between 6 AM and 8 AM is the most risky. However, the silver lining to this cloud is the fact that the city experiences brisk and stimulating winters. With proper precautions, it is possible to enjoy the scenery without jeopardizing safety.