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Deadly car accidents caused by winter weather

Winter arrived in Missouri last week with a deadly swipe, leaving eight people dead in car accidents, the majority of which were weather-related. As we return to cold weather and the threat of snow and icy roads means we all have to slow down and exercise additional care.

While Missouri typically does not have to worry about catastrophic snowstorms like those that have buried western New York, the greater variability means drivers here in Columbia have to be alert to rapidly changing conditions when driving. 

While the temperature may rise quickly after a heavy snowfall, the melt from the snow on shoulders of roads and highways can run across traffic lanes overnight and refreeze, and create very hazardous driving for the unwary motorist and cause fatal motor vehicle accidents.

Missouri is also subject to the constant potential of freezing rain, as precipitation falling in the lower levels of the atmosphere turns to rain and then freezes on colder road surfaces. It is always as good idea to be cautious when crossing bridges, as the bridges may freeze and leave dangerous slick spots.

One such car crash in south central Missouri left two people dead when a car slide across an icy bridge deck and struck a truck.

If there is heavy snow, clear all of your windows and your roof, as the snow can slide off or blow off and become a hazard for you or other drivers. Your insurance company would be less than pleased snow blowing off your vehicle caused another car to crash. And always keep your wiper fluid full, as dirty road spray can quickly reduce your visibility and lead to collisions.

Abc17news.com, "Eight killed in accidents across Missouri on Sunday," November 17, 2014

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