Hazardous winter weather made its way across Oklahoma this weekend. A snow and ice storm moved through the state early Saturday morning, leaving treacherous road conditions behind. Between midnight and noon Saturday, EMSA paramedics responded to more than 30 weather related accidents on Oklahoma streets and highways. Of those 30 accidents, 14 involved injuries requiring medical attention.
Though the cause of each accident varies, it is likely that most of the accidents were resulted from dangerous road conditions. “Black ice” is a frequent cause of winter weather-related accidents. As suggested by its name, “black ice” is a thin layer of ice that appears as a wet roadway. A driver often does not realize they have hit black until it is too late. Additionally, other wintry weather accidents occur when drivers follow too closely to the vehicle in front of them, or fail to travel at a safe speed for the road conditions.
Weather Related Accidents
It is unusual to see Oklahoma snow and ice related accidents in April. However, abnormal weather conditions of any type will naturally make the roadways more dangerous. Heavy rain and thunderstorms, severe weather such as tornadoes, high winds, and even severe sun glare can all contribute to accidents.
In a weather related accidents, negligence can be a complicated issue. Sometimes, an accident is truly an accident and neither party is at fault. Other times, however, a driver fails to drive reasonably and safely for the conditions. For example, an average driver often drives 5 miles per hour over the speed limit. However, driving 5 miles per hour over the speed limit in snow and ice is considered negligent and dangerous.