On behalf of The Frickey Law Firm, posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, March 6, 2013.
State snow plows can be a lifesaver for Colorado drivers forced to travel in winter weather conditions. The massive plows also can be dangerous to surrounding drivers in much smaller vehicles.
Transportation officials admit snow plow drivers must divide their attention between clearing roads and looking out for nearby motorists. Moving snow takes precedence, which creates a distracted driver situation that can lead to motor vehicle accidents.
Colorado State Patrol recently reported a head-on collision between an SUV and snowplow near Empire on Highway 40. The plow hit the passenger vehicle before dawn, around 6:20 a.m.
The SUV driver suffered serious injuries. Troopers reported the 38-year-old driver had been traveling at a speed too fast for snowy road conditions. Impairment was not suspected. No charges are pending.
A Colorado Department of Transportation road maintenance manager suggested that vehicles maintain a 150- to 200-foot distance behind plows. The official warned motorists who must pass working snowplows to use extreme caution. Plow drivers have difficulty seeing vehicles that pass along the right side, the same side of the plow where snow is thrown.
Troopers suggested that speed was a factor, although that does not explain thoroughly why the SUV driver was any more at fault than the driver of the state snowplow. The plow hit the car, not the reverse.
A personal injury attorney may ask whether the snowplow driver failed to check traffic before making a move on the interstate. Are other motorists expected to accept that a plow driver’s job duties take priority over safety?
The SUV driver survived but may spend weeks, months or possibly a lifetime recovering from the crash. Medical expenses may exceed the driver’s insurance. The victim’s wage losses could have a significant, negative effect on his family.
A personal injury lawsuit would help the victim receive damages if the snowplow driver or his employer’s judgments were negligent.
Source: denver.cbslocal.com, “CDOT Snowplow Involved in Head-On Collision With Vehicle On Highway 40,” Feb. 24, 2013