Severe weather of all types increases the chance of vehicle accidents. Snow, ice and even rain can cause vehicles to skid or impair visibility for drivers, contributing to the possibility of a car accident. In December, dozens of people were caught up in pile-ups on Wisconsin roads.
During the weekend of Dec. 7, a pile-up that involved dozens of cars occurred on a freeway outside of Menominee Falls, Wisconsin. Numerous responders were sent to the accident site after 911 dispatchers received many calls. According to reports, the accidents resulted in one fatality.
On the same stretch of roadway, another pile-up occurred, with snow playing a major role. On Dec. 8, a snow storm in the area picked up its pace, reducing visibility for drivers and causing vehicles to slow. The first cars spun on the slick roads, causing a minor accident. Low visibility and the inability to stop quickly on the ice caused other vehicles to expand the accident.
A police officer who had responded to an earlier incident watched as the accident unfolded down the road from his position. He could only tell what was happening by the movement of taillights shining through the snow and the sounds of the accidents. According to the officer, he could not take any safe action to stop the chain reaction and could only pray that no one lost his or her life in the pile-up.
When accidents are as extensive and involved as the pile-ups that occurred in early December, it can be difficult for investigators to uncover the initial cause. Though these accidents were likely caused in part by weather conditions, investigators will still probe the events to discover whether driver actions played any part in injuring others or causing a fatality.
Source: KTIV.com, "DOT camera catches a 40 car pile up on snowy Wisconsin roads" No author given, Dec. 10, 2013