It’s that time of year again, when people are dashing about, getting ready for the holiday season, always remembering at the last minute that thing they absolutely must have to make the season a success. The store closes in 10 minutes, so even though the sun has gone down and the roads are glazing over a bit, the driver pushes the car a bit faster than they should, and before they can even reach the store, the driver becomes another entry in Portland icy road car crash statistics.
Of course, not all drivers are guilty of driving too fast or failing to recognize the dangers out there, but Portland icy roads car crash statistics bear out the fact that once the winter months arrive, there is inevitably an increase in accidents due to icy roads. In just one day this month (December 9, 2011), icy roads were being blamed for a frightening number of accidents, when freezing fog left early morning hard frost on road surfaces.
- On northbound lanes of I-5, Clark County fire crews had to respond to multiple car crashes between 179th Street and Ridgefield.
- Just north of the 179th Street exit, a 78-year-old male had to be extricated from his vehicle by emergency responders using cutting equipment, after his car smashed into a guardrail. The man was taken to the hospital with trauma injuries.
- An hour later, around 6:30 a.m., three vehicles spun out of control in almost the exact same area. Two of the vehicles crashed into the median and the third hit the guardrail. Thankfully, none of the drivers or passengers in any of the three vehicles was injured.
- Portland Fire Bureau rescuers were also busy that day. They were called to a number of fender benders, as well as one of the scariest things that can happen on the highway, a jack-knifed semi, which skidded out of control on Highway 30, near St. Johns.
Portland Fire Bureau spokesman Paul Corah is very familiar with Portland icy road car crash statistics. He said the recent spike in numbers has been noticeable, predictable and in some cases, preventable. “We’ve definitely had an increase in auto accidents today (December 9) and yesterday,” he said, before going on to add that using extra caution could prevent more accidents from occurring. “People should be aware of their surroundings,” said Corah. He pointed out that one or two fender benders would be a typical number during the morning rush hours. On Thursday and Friday, however, that number was nearer to a dozen. Officials said that leaving extra time to get where you’re going, then driving slowly and leaving extra space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you would go a long way to cutting down the number of icy road accidents.
That’s good advice, because Oregon is one of the worst in the country for icy road fatalities according to Portland icy road car crash statistics. In 2009, for example, Oregon had the sixth highest number of people killed on icy roads, with 17 people losing their lives in accidents directly attributed to road conditions. Only Pennsylvania (26), Nebraska and Missouri (23), Iowa (20), Texas (19), and Michigan (18) fared worse. And in one of the darkest and notorious periods ever recorded on Oregon roads, no less than nine people were killed in less than two weeks (November 8 – 21, 2009), including an accident on I-84 near Baker City on November 12, when a church van went out of control on an icy road, overturned, and 13 people were ejected from the vehicle. Three of them died. The nine people who lost their lives accounted for exactly half of all icy road fatalities in the entire United States during that 13-day spell.
Clearly, no one wants to become an entry in the list of Portland icy road car crash statistics, and it’s also true to say that this type of accident at this time of year is almost inevitable. However, individuals can take steps to protect themselves and their families from the financial burdens and physical damage an icy road car crash can cause. Mostly it’s down to using common sense and good judgment. Listen to the weather and road reports. If conditions are bad, give yourself plenty of extra time and if possible, rethink your journey entirely. Is it absolutely necessary? If not, maybe you could put it off until conditions have improved. However, if you are involved in a collision and you’ve been injured, don’t attempt to deal with the insurance companies yourself, regardless of who or what was to blame. Contact a reputable Portland personal injury attorney, who will explain your options and guide you through the claims process.