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Deadly pile-up is reason to revisit winter driving tips

Worcester viewers of WFXT recently saw a news report on the deadly Wisconsin pile-up that involved 131 vehicles. While newscasters were quick to point out that the chain-reaction crashes were caused by extreme winter weather, a state trooper made it clear that though the snowstorm was an important factor in the series of motor vehicle crashes, the real culprit was that drivers could not “stop fast enough because they're following too close or going too fast for the conditions,” he said.

“And then they start just piling into one another. It's almost like they're just driving into a wall of cars, just like they're driving through whiteout conditions."

We understand the perils of winter weather here in Massachusetts as well, of course. When snow starts falling, drivers should slow down and become even more cautious, experts say. Leave more room between your vehicle and the one ahead of your car so that you can slow or stop with room to spare.

Though we’re near the end of February, it would not be unprecedented for Worcester to get hit with another big winter storm – or two – before spring arrives. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at some driving tips that can help us get safely to those days when robins begin to appear and flowers start to bloom.

  • Adjust downward: slow your vehicle in snowy conditions to help improve traction
  • Up and down: accelerate and decelerate slowly to avoid sliding and skidding
  • Six seconds: increase your following distance to six seconds to provide more time to stop safely
  • Firm, steady: use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on your brakes
  • Don’t stop on hills: climb hills slowly, steadily without coming to a stop

Let’s hope winter ends soon and that we all get to spring safely.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a traffic crash caused by a negligent driver, contact an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation to discuss your legal options for compensation.

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