Speeding Michigan Driver Triggered Deadly I-96 Pileup
In December 2017, three people died and 11 more were injured in a gut-wrenching crash involving more than 50 motor vehicles on Michigan’s Interstate 96. Although a wintry weather mix was initially to blame for the chain-reaction wreck, drivers who were inattentive, following too closely on slick roads, in limited visibility and jackknifed semi-trailer trucks contributed to the deadly pile-up, it has since been determined by sheriff’s officials that it was the actions of a lone driver traveling too fast for conditions who created the incident.
A sheriff’s investigator said a Howell resident was driving an SUV at “an excessive rate of speed” when the driver lost control and crashed along the already treacherous road conditions. Investigators concluded that this initial crash blocked both lanes of westbound I-96, impeding other vehicles, some of which also were “traveling faster than conditions allowed.”
Many Interstate Accidents Could Have Ended Differently
Despite the many factors that are truly out of our control, we each make driving decisions that could impact our interstate and highway safety, especially during the winter months. Interstate driving accidents often occur in the cold weather season because drivers are traveling too fast for conditions OR they are following the vehicle in front of them too closely. Normal following distance for dry pavement conditions (3-4 seconds) should be doubled or even tripled during winter weather conditions. Here are some interstate driving tips, in addition to our regular safe winter driving, to keep you safe this season:
- When traveling the Interstate, it is advisable to stay in the lane cleared most recently.
- Passing or changing lanes should be avoided because crossing over the built-up snow or ice between lanes can result in a loss of control of the vehicle.
- Braking should be done gently as it can suddenly cause wheels to lock up, resulting in a skid or a full loss of control.
- Stay alert, not distracted, and off your phone. And pay close attention to drivers around you and ahead of you.
Winter driving accidents can happen suddenly, but you may be able to avoid another driver who has lost control if you recognize the risk and act early. That said, if you are about to collide with another vehicle or object, you are probably safer in most cases if you attempt to steer around the object while braking very gently. The likelihood of getting around the object is often higher than the likelihood of coming to a stop in time on an icy, snowy road.
Injured In a Winter Driving Accident?
If yes, we don’t have to tell you about the difficulties of recovering from a serious accident or caring for an injured loved one. We know you understand far too well how hard it can be to heal or be a care-taker while ensuring your whole family is cared for physically, emotionally, and financially. The Michigan auto accident attorneys at the Offices of Lee Steinberg understand these things as well, and we have a long history of representing vulnerable clients. Our greatest satisfaction comes from winning or settling a case and knowing our clients’ can rest easier knowing their medical care, lost wages, and other expenses are taken care of. If you’ve been in a winter driving accident, call us today for your FREE consultation: 1-800-LEE-FREE.