Changing weather conditions caused a massive 34-vehicle accident on Interstate 25 near Greenland and Larkspur on November 15, 2010. The pileup, which involved four tractor-trailers and injured 18 people, demonstrates the dangers of winter driving in Colorado.
Castle Rock Fire Chief Art Morales reported that black ice appeared to have caused the accident five miles north of Monument Hill in an area that is notorious for multi-vehicle accidents caused by bad weather. Morales said I-25 rises a couple hundred feet where the crash occurred, and the change in elevation can turn wet pavement into an extremely slippery sheet of ice.
Larkspur Fire Chief Jamey Bumgarner stated that three of the cars involved in the accident were so severely damaged that firefighters had to cut away parts of the cars before reaching the victims inside. Amazingly, no one died in the crash.
The director of Drive Smart Colorado Springs, Maile Gray, pointed out that the shoulder seasons of fall and spring can be just as hazardous as winter when driving in Colorado. The weather can be fine in areas with lower elevation but can change suddenly and catch drivers off guard when driving through the mountains.
Winter Driving Tips
Driving in poor weather conditions can be both frightening and dangerous. However, Colorado drivers can be safe by following these winter driving tips:
- Make sure your brakes, windshield wipers, heater and exhaust system are in good working condition.
- Maintain full levels of windshield-washer fluid and antifreeze.
- Always have at least half a tank of gas.
- Allow more time to reach your destination, and drive at speeds that are safe for the conditions.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly-it takes more time and space to stop on snow and ice.
- Leave plenty of room between you and other drivers.
You can avoid winter auto accidents by being prepared and driving carefully and slowly. If, despite your best efforts, you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss any legal claims you may have.
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