Posted on December 29th, 2020 by Zane Cagle
As precipitation has begun to fall on Missouri today, we should all be preparing for some wintery weather tonight and this week. Possible wintery weather combined with holiday travel can create even more risks on the roadways. When we have inclement weather on top of holiday travel, the risks involving road travel are higher. When facing increased risks, we must each plan accordingly. Please exercise planning and safety to avoid car accidents this holiday week.
Tuesday will see freezing temperatures overnight that could cause wet roads to freeze and become slick across Missouri. Greater St. Louis meteorologists have predicted a cluster of weather events and are uncertain of the severity yet. As of Tuesday afternoon, the northwest portion of Missouri (north of I-70) has seen sleet and some snow. Heavier snow is expected in northern Missouri. Wednesday is predicted to see steady rain during the day with brief periods of snow and sleet. Highs in the 40 degree are and dipping into the 20’s overnight. New Year’s Eve is predicted to be dry and cold and then a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain in the evening. Temperatures will be near freezing and some ice accumulation is expected. The northern portion of Missouri (north of Interstate 70) is currently seeing some snow-covered roads this Tuesday afternoon.
New Year’s Day may see an early morning mix of snow/sleet at temperatures near freezing, then changing to rain through the day. The weather in Missouri can change quickly and road conditions can go from good to terrible in a matter of a few hours. Monitor the roadways if you are planning to travel. Check out MoDOT’s Road Condition Map to see the most current road conditions before and during your travel.
Safety Suggestions from the Missouri State Highway Patrol:
- If conditions deteriorate, avoid driving on Missouri roadways if you can. If you must travel, make sure your vehicle is cleaned off of snow and ice, use your headlights to increase visibility and reduce your speed where roadways appear wet.
- Under Missouri law, if your windshield wipers are on, your headlights must be turned on–it increases your visibility
- Adjust your speed to the weather. Do not use cruise control and increase your following distance between vehicles. Allowing extra space is critical as it is next to impossible to stop or slow down quickly on snowy or icy roads.
- If you must travel, make sure your fuel tank is at least half full. Be sure you have an ice scraper, battery booster cables, blankets, extra coats, gloves, water, non-perishable food, first aid kit, flashlight, small shovel and a bag of sand or cat litter in your truck. This emergency roadside kit may be really important should you become stuck. Motorists assist services may take quite a bit of additional time in inclement weather, so preparation is critical to avoid the increasing pedestrian fatalities we are seeing in Missouri.
- Make sure your cell phone is charged and keep it with you. DO NOT USE YOUR CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING. Avoid inattentive driving. Should you become stuck or stranded, the MSHP emergency number is 1.800.525.5555 or *55 and your information can be sent to the nearest headquarters.
- If you are involved in a crash or slide off the roadway, stay inside your vehicle. If you get out and walk around your vehicle, you have increased chances of being hit by other motorists. Call 911, remain in your vehicle, place the vehicle in park and turn off the engine. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be a danger if you suspect that your vehicle has been damaged especially the exhaust system.
- PLAN- Think about what your plan will be if you are involved in a crash or your vehicle becomes disabled.
- DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE– this seems like it should be understood and we shouldn’t need to remind people to never drive impaired.
Celebration of 2020 Ending
I think we are all just about ready to gleefully say goodbye to the year 2020. It has been a rough one. Typically, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with parties and alcohol. While many of us will not be gathering in large groups (or small groups for that matter), the alcohol consumption will most likely remain high. Thus, plan, plan, plan! Make sure that you have a designated sober driver (not just the driver that has had the least to drink). As well, if you are relying on rideshare services such as Uber, you should plan for it to be busy and schedule ahead if possible. In an ideal situation, you can plan to stay overnight at the celebration location. This is not always practical but have a plan to get home safely before you begin the evening’s festivities.
The clear evidence of a successful New Year’s Eve celebration is getting home safely in 2021
While we may have to think a little longer about the good things that happened this year, we want everyone healthy to tackle 2021 together. And, you do not have to be a safety expert or safety freak to plan your travel in advance. I promise, planning to get home safe will not impede your spontaneity. Planning get togethers and celebrations is fun, but often people forget to plan for the successful trip after the party ends. As New Year’s Eve is in the midst of winter, wintery weather often impacts holiday travel. Increased traffic and late-night possible impaired drivers make road travel risky. Avoid traveling on Missouri roadways between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and early morning, if possible. The late evening hours and early morning hours are typically the most dangerous hours for roadway travel on New Year’s Eve.
You should count on road sobriety tests across St. Louis and Missouri roadways. State troopers and local law enforcement will be on the lookout for any dangerous driving behaviors. A citation or DUI is troublesome but the inconvenience of a serious car crash will last well into 2021. Honestly, there is never a great time to go to the emergency room and avoiding car crashes during this pandemic is critical. Do not be mistaken, if you are in a car crash, please seek medical treatment immediately in spite of the pandemic. Avoiding medical treatment can be dangerous for any injured person.
Take the necessary planning steps to reduce your likelihood of a crash or possible stranding on the highway.
Let’s celebrate the end of 2020 and greet a better 2021! Hopefully, we be able to properly celebrate holidays with our friends and family in 2021!
If you have questions, our attorneys are available seven days a week to answer any questions you may have about a car accident.