Blizzard Causes Treacherous Driving Conditions Across Southern New England


What may be overlooked in the back-and-forth about the weather forecast’s accuracy in this week’s “Blizzard of 2015” is the fact that deep snow in New England has led to treacherous roads and the potential for serious Rhode Island car accidents.

Prior to the storm, the National Weather Service had cautioned about potentially “life-threatening” road conditions across the region, prompting state officials in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts to issue travel bans to keep cars off the road beginning as early as 9 p.m. EST on Monday, Jan. 26.

While New York City was spared a deep snow, Long Island and New England bore the brunt of the storm Monday evening and most of Tuesday, with more than 2 feet of snow in parts of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Rhode Island’s First Term Gov. Gina Raimondo said the travel ban had kept the car accident count to six or eight, none of which were serious, according to the Providence Journal. A state Department of Transportation six-wheel dump truck flipped over, she said, but no injuries were reported. Rhode Island State Police reported 70 accidents before travel was banned at midnight Monday.

In Middletown, Conn., a city snowplow hit an electric pole, knocking out power to more than 700 people, NBC Connecticut reported.

The first reported fatality of Winter Storm Juno was the death of a Long Island teenager who died in a sledding accident on Monday. Also on Long Island, an 83-year-old man with dementia was found dead in his backyard for the second of only two deaths attributed to the storm, according to the Associated Press.

While some complain about inaccurate predictions for the Jan. 26-27 storm, it may be more useful to look forward, since the majority of winter 2015 forecasts say it will be cold and snowy in New England.

Drivers can avoid winter car accidents by following such safety tips as:

  • Keep extra distance between your car and other vehicles.
  • Watch for ice patches on bridges and overpasses.
  • Drive slowly, carefully and defensively.
  • Accelerate slowly but steadily.
  • Decelerate by first letting up on the gas and then braking gently.
  • If you start to skid, steer in the direction you want the car to go while braking gently.

And of course, you should always wear seat belts and avoid distractions. Never talk on a cell phone while driving.

Even if you do everything right, you could still be involved in an accident caused by a driver who failed to take proper precautions when the next winter storm hits.

If you are the victim of a wintertime crash caused by someone else’s negligence, you will likely face medical bills, lost wages and other losses that could potentially be recovered through an auto accident lawsuit.

The Rhode Island personal injury attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush provide free case reviews to motor vehicle accident victims and their families. Call us at 401-443-2999 or fill out a contact form to set up a free legal consultation. We have four offices located in Providence, Wakefield, Warwick, and Woonsocket to easily serve you.