Even the most skilled drivers are not immune to weather-related dangers. A New York Police Department officer died and several others were injured after a crash which occurred while they were on their way to work security for the UN general assembly and massive climate march.
Nine officers were traveling to their work assignment in a police van at about 5 a.m. when the accident occurred in The Bronx. Police Officer Mike Williams, 25, was sitting in the rear of the van, when the police officer driving the vehicle lost control as he rounded a sharp corner on the rain-slicked Bruckner Expressway in Hunts Point. The van crashed and Williams was ejected from the side window, reported the New York Post (9.21.14).
Williams was taken to Lincoln Hospital with severe body trauma and pronounced dead.The other officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Most of the officers in the van, including Williams, were not wearing seat belts, said the tabloid.
According to the New York Post, investigators were working to determine what caused the crash. Among the potential factors they were considering were weather conditions and the van’s speed.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, there are more than 5,870,000 vehicle crashes during a typical year. Nearly 1,312,000 of these accidents, or twenty-three percent, are weather-related. Weather-related crashes are defined as those accidents that happen in inclement weather like rain, snow, sleet, and fog. Weather-related crashes are also those that occur on slick pavement, including wet pavement, snowy/slushy pavement, or icy pavement. On average, weather –related crashes kill approximately 6,250 people and injure over 480,000 people each year.
Weather-related crashes almost always take place on wet pavement and when it rains. The Federal Highway Administration said seventy-four percent of the accidents occur on wet pavement and forty-six percent of them happen during times of rain. Winter conditions cause a smaller percentage of weather-related accidents. Seventeen percent of these crashes occur during snow or sleet while twelve percent occur on icy pavement. Fourteen percent of the crashes occur on snowy or slushy pavement. Though they get a lot of publicity, only three percent of weather-related crashes happen when it is foggy.
Road conditions are almost always more dangerous in inclement weather and drivers need to take extra precautions. Severe weather conditions can make driving difficult, but it doesn’t excuse drivers from being responsible for their behavior. Negligent drivers may be held responsible for their decisions and individuals who are injured by a driver’s behavior may be able to collect compensation. An experienced lawyer can help victims and their families collect the money they are truly owed.
The New York Post article cited is “Rookie cop killed in crash as NYPD van headed for duty.”