Winter weather wreaks havoc on Middle Tennessee roadways. A strong winter system moved across parts of Middle Tennessee late last week, creating hazardous conditions for drivers. The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) reported that the nasty weather began in Montgomery County and worked its way south, causing numerous accidents, crashes, and fatalities. On Friday morning, multiple wrecks were also reported on I-65 just south of Nashville. Although conditions have since improved, this latest winter weather system is a stark reminder of the dangers that still exist as we work our way through the winter months.
How To Drive In Icy Road Conditions
A mix of ice, rain, and snow amplified the dangerous conditions, and it’s important to remember that roadways are often the most dangerous when temperatures hover around the freezing mark. Icy roads are more dangerous than snowy roads alone. However, a light dusting of snow can quickly melt and then refreeze, creating even more extreme conditions. As a reminder, here are some helpful tips from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) when navigating wet, snowy, or icy road conditions:
- Slow down. Even an SUV with four-wheel drive may not be able to stop any faster, or maintain control any better, once you lose traction.
- Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges, or shady spots.
- Beware of black ice — a thin coating of clear ice that can form on the pavement surface that may be difficult to see.
- Avoid excessive actions while steering, braking, or accelerating to lessen the chances of losing control of the vehicle.
- Space out. Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and others.
- Avoid using cruise control in winter driving conditions. You need to control your speed based on road conditions — don’t let cruise control make a terrible decision for you.
- Winter conditions call for different driving tactics. Ice and snow, take it slow—slower speed, slower acceleration, slower steering, and slower braking.
The Sneaky Winter Hazards
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has also warned of “sneaky winter hazards,” which are defined as dangerous conditions that occur without adequate public awareness and little-to-no news coverage:
Don’t let winter weather sneak up on you while driving. Ice, sleet, & freezing rain can be dangerous on the road. When possible, please limit travel.
If you must drive, slow down and leave plenty of distance between vehicles.
Follow your local @NWS office for weather updates! pic.twitter.com/RdvZqEprRw
— T_E_M_A (@T_E_M_A) February 3, 2022
We cannot stress enough how dangerous road conditions can be this time of year. Our firm constantly sees the devastating impacts of car and truck accidents due to inclement weather and how they turn lives upside down. We urge you to do your best to protect yourself, your family, and passengers by driving defensively and following all the safety tips outlined above and in our other blog posts.
We wish you a continued safe and healthy winter weather driving season. As always, feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns if you or a loved one have been involved in an accident.
Because we care…
Stillman & Friedland Attorneys