Drivers in North Carolina can become spoiled. In much of the state, even in winter, snow and ice often don’t last very long. The danger is they gain very little practice with driving on snowy roads. This week’s blast of snow, ice and arctic air has led to dangerous conditions on roads throughout much of the state, and claimed the life of one driver.
A 19-year-old woman died Monday night on her way home from work. According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, she lost control on an icy stretch of highway and her vehicle crashed sideways in traffic in the other lane. An oncoming vehicle struck her car on the driver’s side door.
The Governor reported that there were more than 1,000 accidents on Monday that the highway patrol investigated. The Governor asked drivers to stay off the roads and let road crews spread salt to help melt ice. Caution is necessary, however, in cold spells like this, because salt becomes less effective at low temperature, making it more likely that even after treatment, there may be slick spots.
When storms like this strike, avoiding travel is always the safest policy. While you can try to slow down and carefully negotiate the slippery roads, there is little you can do to change the behavior of a negligent driver who drives too fast and takes too many risks.
And you never know where melted snow will run and refreeze overnight, forming black ice that may be invisible. By the time you or another driver knows it is there, you are sliding towards each other at high-speed.
13Newsnow.com, “Teen dies in crash on an icy road in Hertford Co., NC,” February 17, 2015