Earlier last month a serious accident on I-65 in Simpson County, MS led to a massive pileup involving five tractor-trailers. The accident occurred around 5:30 in the morning when two trucks initially crashed into one another on a patch of icy roadway.
Police say that after the first two semis crashed, there was not enough time for the next two to avoid the wreckage, adding further to the pileup. The driver of the fifth tractor-trailer, Andre Ellis, said that he only barely had time to react after seeing the wreckage up ahead of him. According to Ellis, he was carrying a very heavy load and knew that he would be unable to stop his truck in time given the icy conditions. Thankfully, Andre thought fast and decided to ditch his truck into an embankment rather than plow into the back of the already wrecked semis.
Andre and the other drivers suffered injuries and were all taken to local hospitals for medical treatment. Officials are crediting Andre with his speedy decision-making, saying that had he not thought fast, it is possible the pileup could have been even worse, potentially ending in a fatality. I-65 was closed for several hours after the crash, with accident investigators and others inspecting the scene and hauling away the damaged tractor-trailers.
Experts say the Mississippi accident is a good indication of just how quickly things can go wrong on slick roads. Snowy or icy roadways can make driving and braking difficult if not impossible, even for those in large commercial motor vehicles. Though tractor-trailers are heavy and generally have an easier time maintaining traction, even the biggest vehicles have limits.
Given the cold weather this winter, it’s critical that drivers slow down when conditions have the potential for being bad. Experts say that reducing speed is one of the best ways to stay safe on icy roads. Visibility often decreases when the weather is bad and stopping distance can increase exponentially. By slowing down, you are greatly increasing the chances that you will be able to maintain control of your vehicle in the event of a sudden stop or appearance of another roadway hazard.
Beyond slowing down, it’s important for drivers to leave room between other vehicles. Make sure that your tires have a proper amount of tread and that your windshield wipers are new. Never slam on your brakes as this can cause your car to skid, instead, try to slow down slowly and steadily, pulsing the brakes if necessary to maintain traction. Following in the path of other vehicles is another way to increase traction, as unplowed roads are more likely to have ice and other hidden dangers.
If you have been injured in a Mississippi car, motorcycle or tractor-trailer accident and think you may have a personal injury claim, please contact the Mississippi personal injury attorneys at Kilpatrick & Philley at 601-707-4669.
Source: “I-65 Accident Involving 5 Semi-Trucks,” published at WBKO.com.
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