Posted on January 21st, 2014 by Zane Cagle
Anywhere from one inch to two inches of snow fell overnight in the greater St. Louis area, making roads treacherous for drivers on I-64/40, I-44, I-55 and I-70 in Missouri and Illinois. It wasn’t so much the snow but the icy conditions under the packed snow. Ice is usually more treacherous for drivers and quite a few car accidents resulted from this morning’s weather.
Accidents Causing Closures
Southbound Interstate 55 was closed at Bayless due to a semi-truck hitting a snow plow and two lanes of eastbound Interstate 64 were closed near Kingshighway due to another wreck. Two additional wrecks were reported on eastbound Interstate 70 which closed two lanes of traffic.
On Interstate 44, two vehicles collided near Antire Road and two left westbound lanes were shut down. Becky Allmeroth with the MDoT said they were working at least 10 wrecks at one point in the morning.
Metrobus also experienced delays and were warning commuters to allow extra time. As well, Ameron Missouri reported about 5,900 outages mostly in the St. Louis and the Missouri Bootheel. All transportation seems to have slowed if not halted for a period of time this morning as some flights in and out of Lambert were delayed or cancelled.
Black Ice and Slippery Roads Remain
In general, it is best not to drive during these conditions unless you have to drive. If you do have to drive, slow down. Increase your following distance behind cars in front of you. Bridges and exits can be extra icy. Ice is not always as visible as the snow. As the day wears on without temperatures dropping much, the conditions for black ice increase. Black ice is clear ice on the dark roadway that appears black/gray like the roadway and may be difficult to see. Keeping your speed slow is usually a good idea for unexpected road conditions. Allow extra time in your commute this evening.
Road crews are out treating the roads, but we are not expected to see a warming trend until tomorrow. Even if the temperatures get up into the upper 30’s, the situation for black ice remains. Even if most of the roadways appear fine, be extra careful on bridges, exits or anywhere that requires you to turn your vehicle very sharply. Avoid unnecessary lane changes just to move along faster. Be patient.
Wouldn’t a Weather Related Car Accident Be No-Fault, No-Liability?
Just because an motor vehicle accident occurs on snow/icy roads, it does not automatically dismiss anyone of fault in an auto accident, depending on the circumstances. Many think that if they were involved in a car accident in bad weather then it was an “act of God” occurrence, but that is not always the case. Often accidents on slippery roadways are still caused by driver choice such as driving too fast for road conditions, failing to pay attention, following too closely, improperly passing and distracted driving such as texting. If one of these other factors may have contributed to your accident and you have injuries, you may need legal representation. Don’t always assume that just because the road was icy, no one is at-fault. Each accident is unique and has a unique fact set. If you are in question, call our attorneys for a free consultation. Consultations are relatively short and packed with information so you can make the most informed choices.
Often times, we become very inpatient when our commute doubles or triples in length. We all have things to do and while driving to work this morning, I did notice people who were passing dangerously. I can only assume it was because the longer commute was making them late for work. While I sure like my employees to be on time for work, if it comes down to being on time or being involved in a car accident, I will take a “tardy” anytime. The overnight snow and ice did kind of catch us by surprise as it happened in the middle of the night. That’s the thing about living in Missouri, you never know if the weather forecast will come true or not until you look at the window!
Since we do live in Missouri, we must anticipate snow and ice in the winter months and plan ahead. I have blogged frequently on the importance of getting your vehicle ready for winter weather as well as safety driving tips for Missouri and Illinois drivers.
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Source: Snow, ice create trouble for St. Louis area drivers. KMOV 1/21/14