Two young drivers collided with on another recently on an icy road in Calais, about two hours northeast of Bangor.
Both drivers suffered injuries, but thankfully survived. This might not have been very noteworthy, but for the fact that the two turned out to be siblings – an 18-year-old high school senior and her 20-year-old brother. She had been on her way to a cashier job, while he was returning home.
Our Bangor car accident attorneys understand that the crash, on U.S. 1, occurred in large part due to the snowy, slushy conditions that rendered the roads slick. She crossed the center line in her Pontiac Grand Prix and slammed into her brother’s Dodge Ram pickup truck. The sister would later relay to a reporter that when she stepped out of the vehicle, she had trouble walking because the roads were so icy.
While we are all more than ready for spring after such a long and brutal winter, here in one of the northernmost states we may continue to see the occasional snowstorm and ice-slicked roads. And spring bring its own unique risks, including rain, standing water and flooding.
On the first of day of April, officials in Portland reported that icy roads made for a tough commute, and resulted in several wrecks. On Jordan Spring Road, there was a vehicle overturned on its roof. On Route 237, another vehicle flipped over the guardrail. Several others were reported also, though no major injuries were reported.
Officials say even snow melt can create its own hazard on the roads. Black ice can form from refreezing snow melt. Then, residual rainwater coats the roads with a thin layer of ice. The combination can send cars spinning and sliding. This can be especially treacherous on bridges, overpasses, secondary roads, exit and entrance ramps. Plus, when the snow isn’t consistent, street crews are less likely to be out in full force with salt and sand trucks, increasing the chances that the roads haven’t been treated.
This means drivers need to use extra caution anytime they venture out shortly after temperatures rise above freezing. Too many accidents happen because motorists think spring has sprung and so let their guard down.
While many drivers have their vehicles checked prior to the beginning of winter season, it’s also important to ensure your car is in good working condition after enduring such a tough winter. In particular, it’s important to check the tires traction and tire pressure, brakes and wiper system. All of these can take a beating in winter.
Beyond that, it’s important that drivers continue to maintain slower speeds, even as the weather continues to warm. Be prepared for an occasional ice slick or slippery road by driving slowly and leaving yourself plenty of room to stop suddenly if necessary.
If you do need to make an abrupt stop, gently apply the brakes in order to avoid skidding.
Finally, take this opportunity if you haven’t already to talk to your teen driver about the appropriate way to react while driving wet weather. In the Calais crash, the sister, who was deemed at-fault, was later quoted as saying that she “completely panicked” and “was so scared, I didn’t know what to do.” She simply covered her face with her arms to brace for impact.
Thankfully, the siblings suffered only minor injuries – scrapes, bruises, a sprain and a concussion. But it could have been far worse.
It’s imperative that all drivers practice the utmost care as we continue to see through the end of this winter weather season.
If you are the victim of a Bangor car accident, contact us at 1-800-804-2004.
Brother, Sister, Injured When Vehicles Collide in Calais, March 31, 2014, By Tim Cox, Bangor Daily News
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