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Winter driving and the hazards of flying ice from other vehicles

One of the biggest news stories last week was the snowstorm that immobilized much of the East Coast. Although we don't need to worry about that storm here in Colorado, we all understand just how many problems a big snowstorm can cause - especially for travel.

The hazards associated with winter driving are not just limited to slippery roads and a higher risk of crashes. An often overlooked hazard is snow and ice flying off of larger vehicles (like trucks) and hitting smaller ones. The accidents caused by failure to clear snow and ice can be fatal.

"Ice missiles" were the subject of a recent news investigation in Illinois. The report told the stories of two people whose lives were forever changed because commercial truck drivers failed to clear snow from their big rigs.

In the first case, a woman's husband was killed when the car he was driving was struck by falling ice and mud. In the second case, flying ice and snow that dislodged from a truck trailer smashed through the windshield of a man's car. He survived the accident, but is now blind in one eye and suffers the continuing effects of a traumatic brain injury. It took three surgeries to repair the damage to his face.

Ice-missile accidents, as they are sometimes called, are more common than people may realize. According to news sources, some 25,000 accidents are reported every year, resulting in approximately 100 deaths.

Every motorist is responsible for ensuring that their vehicle is clear and drivable despite winter weather. Drivers who fail to remove snow or sufficiently de-ice their windows pose a significant threat to all others they encounter on the roads. Because commercial trucks are so large, the dangers are multiplied.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by another driver's improper vehicle maintenance, you may be entitled to compensation. Please discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney.

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