This past winter, the questions has often been posed: will this winter weather ever end? Mississippi has seen an unprecedented amount of ice, snow, and wintery mix thus far this winter, and it seems the end is not yet in sight. This inclement weather has caused numerous accidents, some fatal, and many closures of roads and bridges.
Recently, a chain-reaction accident occurring on the icy Mississippi River bridge in Vicksburg, Mississippi, lead to its closure. A 4:00 a.m. on February 12, an 18 wheeler skidded on the icy bridge and pummeled into a railing. At least four other tractor trailer rigs then proceeded to crash. This multi-truck accident miraculously did not result in any injuries. However, police determined a tanker involved in the crash was leaking flammable liquid. This resulted in closure of the bridge, which runs between Vicksburg, Mississippi and Delta, Louisiana, for several hours.
Two fatalities have been attributed to the latest onslaught of winter weather. David Watson, Senior, a 67 year old man from Carrollton, died in a single vehicle accident on Mississippi Highway 35 in Carroll County. Watson’s car apparently hit an icy patch on the road then overturned several times. Watson was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
That same day, Tara N. Pugh, a 27 year old from Reform, Alabama, died when her Jeep Wrangler skidded across an icy bridge on U.S. Highway 82 in Lowndes County, rolling down an embankment.
So far, this never ending winter shows no signs of letting up. Punxsutawney Phil, the famous ground hog weather predictor, predicted six more weeks of winter, much to the disappointment of residents in Mississippi and across the U.S.
Throughout these final weeks of winter, we offer the following tips to stay safe during inclement weather on Mississippi’s roadways:
- Wait it out—whenever possible, postpone driving on the roads or highways when snow and icy conditions are at their worst. No errand or even day at work is worth the very present risk of life.
- Exercise particular care on bridges—bridges are usually the first to ice when temperatures drop, and accidents on them can be especially dangerous. Drive slowly and remain vigilant when crossing potentially icy bridges. Better yet, if possible, avoid them entirely when ice is likely to be present.
- Get your car ready for the road—use front and rear defrosters along with a plastic ice scraper to remove any ice from your windshield before taking off. Icy windshields can impair your ability to see the road. Check your tire pressure and make sure your brake pads are in fine working condition
- Slow down—drive at a far slower speed than you normally would to allow for more braking distance between you and the cars around you. It can take several more seconds to brake on slippery road surfaces, so slow speeds can save lives.
- Tackle a skid smartly—if your car begins to skid, do not panic. Do not slam on the brakes. Take your foot off the gas and steer into the direction you want to go. Wait for your car to slow so that you regain control.
- Drive defensively—anticipate a skid or accident up front, be alert and prepared to avoid any hazards.With some advance planning and extra precaution, we hope our Mississippi drivers can get through the last few weeks of winter accident free.
If you or a loved one is in an accident, the seasoned Mississippi Accident Attorneys at Giddens Law Firm are here to help. Our qualified team of personal injury attorneys has a reputation for aggressive, dedicated, and intelligent representation. We can tackle any motor vehicle accident, no matter how complex, and will put all efforts towards obtaining a maximum recovery for you. Call Giddens Law Firm today at (601) 355-2022 to schedule a free consultation.