January 15, 2013 – 1 person dead, 45 injured on the E4 motorway in Sweden involving 100 vehicles. Preliminary investigation shows three transport trucks collided that created the chain reaction.
January 25, 2013 – 3 people injured seriously in approximately 60-80 vehicle collision on Highway 401 near Newtownville. Looking at the pictures in the link below, how is it someone wasn’t killed? Some reports have a transport truck jackknifing as the initial cause.
In both these accidents, visibility was poor, yet operators were not driving according to the road conditions.
Some jurisdictions (like Quebec) have made snow tires mandatory. And some in Sweden are calling for mandatory high-spec winter tires for trucks. But if the operator is not driving according to the road conditions, what’s the point?
Why is it that people feel the need to be on the road when the road conditions and visibility are poor? And when they are out there, the windows are not cleared of snow, the windscreen is fogged up and they drive like the roads are dry.
To all operators (passenger and transport), can we do the following:
- prepare for the road and weather conditions
- have properly inflated tires
- full washer fluid container (including good wipers)
- full fuel tank
- all windows clear of snow, ice and fogging
- ALL lights on
- have emergency supplies – blanket, candles, first aid kit, snack bars, water, etc.
- SLOW down, it’s not a race
And above all, look down the road, not your hood. Watch for changing weather conditions. Get off the road and wait it out if necessary. Keep an eye on the other guy and increase your distance. Look for the “out” so you can avoid the accident. All accidents are avoidable. Don’t become a statistic.
(info from Lloyd’s Loading List, National Post – http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/01/25/major-highway-401-crash-near-newcastle-may-involve-50-60-vehicles-reports/)