Ice and snow swept across the east coast and mid-Atlantic earlier this week, and Washington, D.C. was no exception. Although officials were initially expecting only a few inches of snow, the snowstorm brought in more than a foot instead. Blanketing everything outside in a layer of white, the snow may have been pretty to look at and play in initially—but posed some significant safety and visibility concerns for drivers.
According to a recent news report, the recent snowstorm in Washington, D.C. left hundreds of vehicles stuck overnight on I-95 south of Washington. I-95—a 40-mile stretch of highway—is one of the busiest travel corridors in the United States. The highway came to standstill overnight after a snowstorm swept through and led to hundreds of accidents.
While some people abandoned their vehicles, others spent the night on the highway instead. Over the course of 24 hours, state troopers moved from vehicle to vehicle, providing supplies. Tow trucks also helped by dragging disabled vehicles out of the snow. Among the drivers who stayed, many were trapped without any food and water and only in the clothes they had in the car. Others chose to abandon their vehicles, walking about a quarter-mile from the highway to nearby businesses for relief. Authorities responded to more than 1,000 crashes and 1,000 disabled or trapped vehicles.
Although sometimes there is only so much you can do to prepare for winter weather, especially when Mother Nature surprises you with plans of its own, there are easy steps you can take to keep yourself safe in emergencies. For example, you may assume that it will be highly unlikely that you will find yourself caught in a winter storm. Similar emergencies or situations, however, are always unpredictable and unexpected. Thus, it is better to be safe rather than sorry and to prepare accordingly.
If you commute regularly, it may be wise to pack a bag in your car at all times for emergencies. Packing basics such as a blanket, chargers for your technology, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks and foods could save your life. Including a small first aid kit with basic items such as bandages, alcohol wipes, and travel packets of medications could also go a long way. Other items that could be helpful include hand warmers, a multi-tool, or a water filtration straw in lieu of water bottles. Although it may initially seem wasteful to spend money on items you may never use, it is a small upfront cost that could save your life in the long run.
Do You Need a Washington, D.C. Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you or someone you know was recently injured or killed in a Washington, D.C. car accident, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen for assistance today. Our lawyers have years of experience handling a variety of personal injury claims and have collected more than $65 million in damages on behalf of our many clients. To schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with a member of our legal team, contact us at 1-800-654-1949.