As the first blizzard of the winter season hits the east coast, snow plows take to the roads, clearing the way for others to travel safely. Snow removal is an important job that is not without risk. Snow plow accidents can be particularly serious, especially when pedestrians and other vehicles are involved. As the winter continues, drivers and pedestrians should be mindful of common snow plow accident hazards and how to avoid them.
Snow plow drivers are not always the ones at fault for crashes involving a snow plow. Impatient drivers trying to pass snow plows can end up in the path of oncoming vehicles. Drivers who miscalculate the plow’s size during passing may collide with the front of the truck, causing a serious car accident. Passing a snow plow is never advised. Drivers traveling safely behind a snow plow benefit from the newly–cleared roadway.
Though drivers may be frustrated by slow-moving plows, they should avoid following too closely. Tailgating cars are often hit by debris such as ice and rocks coming off the plow. Cars should follow at a minimum of three car lengths behind plows in case of sudden stops. With a bit of patience and plenty of space, drivers can allow plow drivers to safely do their job.
Snow plow drivers must adhere to the same safe driving guidelines as other professional drivers. Because plow drivers often work through the night, they should know the signs of fatigue. Heavy eyelids, difficulty concentrating, and drifting out of their lane mean the driver may be too tired to drive.
Snow plows should be well-maintained and inspected on a regular basis to prevent breakdowns. Many plows have emergency lights making them more visible to other drivers and pedestrians. Plow drivers need to maintain a safe speed, create plenty of space between the vehicles around them, and rest between shifts.
The Federal Highway Administration offers snow removal guidelines cities and towns can use to keep pedestrians safe. Yet every year, people are injured in slip and fall accidents on slippery sidewalks, crosswalks, and ramps. Most municipalities aim to clear sidewalks within 24 hours after a snowfall. Plows dumping snow on sidewalks and crosswalks force pedestrians to venture into snow-covered roads, or worse, in the path of moving cars and trucks.
If you have been injured in a winter weather car accident or pedestrian accident, a West Chester car accident lawyer at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. can help. We fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering related to your accident.
Call 610-565-3700 or submit an online inquiry to schedule your free case evaluation. With offices in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve families in Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania.