Winter storms torment North Carolina drivers as taxpayers pick-up high-dollar tab for clean streets

ABC-11 recently reported that prior to Christmas, the North Carolina Department of Transportation had already blown half its annual budget – $14 million – for post-storm snow and ice removal efforts this winter. The holiday was the fourth time this season NCDOT had to clear roads caused by winter storms.

In 2009, snow plow and road clean-up services reached $65 million. If this winter continues to be as harsh as it has been so far, NCDOT officials anticipate spending to plow streets and maintain safe driving conditions will again go over budget.
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And with more snow expected this coming week, our Asheville car accident attorneys know, so comes an increased risk for a North Carolina car accident. WECT-6 News reports that by early next week, North Carolina drivers will be facing a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow that can quickly turn to ice and make driving conditions hazardous at best.

While most Carolina car accidents happened during clear conditions, 25 percent of crashes in 2008 were linked to wet, overcast and snowy weather, the North Carolina Department of Transportation reports. There were more than 151,700 car accidents – 989 fatalities and 51,081 injuries – reported during clear sky conditions. During periods of inclement weather (ranging from fog to blowing snow and freezing rain), North Carolina drivers reported more than 62,000 accidents that left 349 dead and another 13,628 injured.

In an effort to help North Carolina drivers travel state roads as safely as possible, the NCDOT offers a few tips for driving in snowy conditions:

~ If you can avoid driving during stormy weather, do so. But if you must travel – drive slow and give fellow motorists a wide berth.

~ Be particularly mindful of snow plow operators. For motorists, stay far behind and drive in the clear, salted roadway. For pedestrians, stay on the sidewalk.

~ Remember, bridges, overpasses and entrance and exit ramps freeze first. Travel them with caution.

~ If you hit a patch of ice – take your foot off the gas (and the brake) and turn your vehicle steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Don’t panic. Once you come to a stop, use your cell phone to call authorities.

The Carolina car accident lawyers with Lee & Smith know that being involved in a serious or fatal motor vehicle accident, or losing a loved one to a fatal crash, can be devastating. We hope that if you are involved in a serious car accident from Burlington to Roxboro or any other region of the Carolinas, you will call us at 1-800-887-1965 or email our law offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.

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