Nearly 200 vehicles were involved in one of the most tragic pile-ups in recent history. On Friday, January 9, 2015, bitter cold and snowy weather resulted in a wreck that shut down the highway for an estimated 43 hours.
Seventy-six semi trucks were involved in the accident, twenty-three people were sent to local hospitals, and over 40,000 pounds of commercial fireworks ignited from the crash. Residents from the surrounding 3 miles were evacuated as hazardous materials leaked from one of the involved semi trucks.
View footage from the terrifying crash:
How to Drive Safely in the Snow
Driving in winter weather is tricky business, especially if you’re new to the area or didn’t grow up in the north. Though we don’t deal with that level of severe winter weather here in Tennessee, it’s important to debunk winter driving myths so you can drive as safely as possible.
The following are some of the most common winter driving myths debunked:
- I’m safer in an AWD (all wheel drive) automobile. Though AWD technology is linked to safety, it won’t give you additional grip on icy roads. Yes, the automobile will accelerate faster and respond seamlessly to engine power, but slippery roads have the same affect on vehicles regardless of drive.
- I don’t need to invest in winter tires. Most people drive with the same tires year-in and year-out, especially in the city. Terrain and winter tires are popularly viewed as solutions for drivers in the country. The reality, however, is that slush, ice, and snow result in slick pavements regardless of whether you’re in the city or country. Winter tires will help keep you safe in the event of a winter storm.
- I have experience driving in snow and ice, so I can drive like usual. No matter your driving experience in wintry conditions, no one should drive at normal highway speeds on icy roads. Once a “fishtail” occurs, its easy to lose control of the car and enter a high-speed slick. By driving at cautious speeds, you give yourself the wiggle room to recover should anything go wrong.
- It’s good to underinflate tires for traction. This legendary myth is dangerous, as tire inflation is correlated directly to performance. For every 10-degree drop, you lose approximately one pound of inflation. Underinflation damages tires and reduces performance, effectiveness and safety.
- The snow on top of my car won’t harm anyone. Most people only scrape the snow off their windshield and doors, but it’s a good idea to scrape snow off the top of your vehicle as well. As your car heats and moves about, ice and snow will begin to loosen and move around. One quick stop could result in a mini-avalanche on your windshield, obstructing your vision.
By debunking these myths, you’ll reduce your chances of experiencing a wreck this winter. Want more safety tips for driving in the snow? Be sure to check out my previous post on this topic here. Contact Royce Williams today to protect yourself on the road with automobile insurance in Nashville, TN.