Pennsylvania Roads Among the Worst in Winter
The first day of spring is around the corner, but winter weather can last well beyond that. Heavy and light snow, black ice, freezing rain, and high winds all present hazards to motorists, and some parts of the country harbor additional risks for drivers when winter driving conditions deteriorate. Harsher weather, narrow roads, hills, and roadways that are not well maintained can make things even worse.
According to a recent study, Pennsylvania roads are among the most dangerous in the U.S. for winter driving. The state ranked second after Michigan; New York was number three.
Breaking Down the Data
Researchers looked at statistics from 2013 through 2017. During that time, 2,718 winter driving deaths occurred across the country. Thirty-six percent of these happened in five northern states, with Pennsylvania coming in at 197.
Certain cities and highways were also ranked in order, from the most winter driving deaths to the least. Pittsburgh was the first, with Philadelphia not far behind. The five deadliest roads listed in order were Interstate 80; Interstate 78; US 11; US 6; and Interstate 79.
Interstate 80 spans the entire state, including rural areas and the Pocono Mountains. Last November, part of I-80 in Clearfield County was closed after several vehicles crashed.
All of the lanes had to be closed, and multiple injuries were reported. A helicopter was needed to transport the injured away from the scene for medical care. According to officials, the car accidents were caused by poor weather as well as bad road conditions.
Two deadly crashes also occurred this past January. A 16-year old passenger died in Jackson Township, PA. That same day, a 21-year old motorist was driving on an icy road in Monroe County, lost control, and hit a tree. This second driver also lost his life that night.
Since winter driving conditions can develop without warning, keeping vehicles winter-ready is a smart move. Having an emergency kit, extra water, and flares in the trunk can be a life-saver.
In some areas, winter tires are a must, and some auto insurance companies may even offer discounts for this. Regular maintenance to check oil, fluids, lights, and batteries is also recommended.
Troopers with the Pennsylvania State Police stress that drivers should always be careful, no matter the weather. Even if part of a road is only wet, it could be icy at higher elevations. Drivers should decrease their speeds when the possibility of ice exists, even if it is not visible.
Taking a few minutes to listen to traffic and weather reports is also good common sense. Not all winter driving can be avoided, but knowing if certain roads are in bad shape is useful information; alternate routes may be warranted. The best advice when facing winter road conditions is to just stay home if at all possible.
Philadelphia Accident Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Represent Car Accident Victims in Pennsylvania
If you have experienced a car accident due to hazardous road conditions, you can trust the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. for effective legal representation. Contact us by completing an online form or call 888-999-1962 today to arrange a free consultation. We have offices in Philadelphia; Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Pinehurst, North Carolina; and represent clients across Pennsylvania.