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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)





"DALLAS (AP) — At least five people were killed and dozens injured Thursday in a massive crash involving 75 to 100 vehicles on an icy Texas interstate, police said, as a winter storm dropped freezing rain, sleet and snow on parts of the U.S.

At the scene of the crash on Interstate 35 near Fort Worth, a tangle of semitrailers, cars and trucks had crashed into each other and had turned every which way, with some vehicles on top of others.

“The vehicles are just mangled,” said Matt Zavadsky, spokesman for MedStar, which provides the ambulance service for the area. “Multiple tow trucks are on scene. It’s going to take a lot to disentangle this wreck.

Thirty-six people were taken to hospitals from the crash, several with critical injuries, Zavadsky said.

Police set up a reunification center for family members at a community center.

“The roadway was so treacherous from the ice that several of the first responders were falling on the scene,” Zavadsky said.

He said his crews carry a sand and salt mixture in the ambulances, which they began using at the scene. At one point, he said, one of the ambulances was hit, but it sustained only minor damage and the crew members were fine.

Farther south, in Austin, more than two dozen vehicles were involved in a pileup on an icy road, and one person was injured, emergency officials said."
 

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it was pretty slip-slidey just driving around on the surface streets and I saw multiple brodozers spinning around on our jaunt to the kiddo's dentist (who called us as we were pulling up to tell us they were closed). this is just the start down here too. I hope everyone can stay safe until things warm up next week.
 

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I mean this in the most innocuous way, but does this kind of thing only happen in southern states? We get lots of snow/ice every winter and very rarely have large deadly crashes like this. I guess what I'm asking is, is it inexperience? Is it not expecting Texas to have ice covered roadways? I'm just shocked that this can happen almost every time southern states get any sort of inclement winter weather.
 

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It's a Southern thing.

They want to go out and look at the pretty snow and ice, and they do it on either summer tyres or bald all-seasons. They have no concept of not being able to stop, so they just plow on, full steam ahead.
 

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I mean this in the most innocuous way, but does this kind of thing only happen in southern states? We get lots of snow/ice every winter and very rarely have large deadly crashes like this. I guess what I'm asking is, is it inexperience? Is it not expecting Texas to have ice covered roadways? I'm just shocked that this can happen almost every time southern states get any sort of inclement winter weather.
I'm sure there are a lot of variables. I feel like the transition from water to ice happens more quickly in areas like that versus up here in MN where it's cold first for a while and then starts to precipitate.
 

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I mean this in the most innocuous way, but does this kind of thing only happen in southern states? We get lots of snow/ice every winter and very rarely have large deadly crashes like this. I guess what I'm asking is, is it inexperience? Is it not expecting Texas to have ice covered roadways? I'm just shocked that this can happen almost every time southern states get any sort of inclement winter weather.
I think that's it. No experience and a lack of respect for slick surfaces.

I mean, if it never happens, then it's easy to discount it.
 

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It's a Southern thing.

They want to go out and look at the pretty snow and ice, and they do it on either summer tyres or bald all-seasons. They have no concept of not being able to stop, so they just plow on, full steam ahead.
I mean this in the most innocuous way, but does this kind of thing only happen in southern states? We get lots of snow/ice every winter and very rarely have large deadly crashes like this. I guess what I'm asking is, is it inexperience? Is it not expecting Texas to have ice covered roadways? I'm just shocked that this can happen almost every time southern states get any sort of inclement winter weather.
No, these things happen everywhere. I’ve seen similar vids from the Northeast, the PNW, and even a few from the Midwest. You’d think Midwestern folk would be more adjusted to that sort of situation but without snow tire mandates or regular inspections many of these folks are probably driving on tires unfit for rain let alone ice or snow.
 

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I mean this in the most innocuous way, but does this kind of thing only happen in southern states? We get lots of snow/ice every winter and very rarely have large deadly crashes like this. I guess what I'm asking is, is it inexperience? Is it not expecting Texas to have ice covered roadways? I'm just shocked that this can happen almost every time southern states get any sort of inclement winter weather.
I think part of it is lack of experience driving in the snow but also, and possibly a bigger factor, is that the snow is different. Driving or even walking in the snow farther north is actually pretty easy but in my area you get this awful wet snow the is super slick even with the correct tires. Its really difficult to drive in, even going slow you slip, a lot.

Typical snow for us is less than 2 inches and snow that turns into rain and then back to snow. You end up with layers of snow, ice and water meaning there is literally no way to get grip without studs and no one has them in this area as they are not legal. It seems like there are less accidents when there is more accumulation as its just snow(without the ice and water layers) and you actually get traction
 

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As a midwesterner, it's fun to make fun of people who can't drive in the snow (until people start to get hurt and killed, this just looks tragic), but the truth is that there are other factors in play:

  • Southern states often have no road treatment equipment. As much as I hate the salt and salt brine and what it does to my cars, you learn pretty quickly on driveways and sidewalks that untreated concrete can be impossible to walk on, let alone drive on, if ice conditions are right.
  • Overpasses and bridges freeze first, and especially in an area where ground temperatures prevent the ice from forming on most of the roadway, it can be really shocking - everything seems fine and then the roadway becomes an overpass or goes over a tunnel and you have a sheet of ice.
  • The bald tires thing is real. Call it irresponsible, and it is, but you can get away with terrible, nearly-bald tires for a loooong time with consequences that aren't obvious in these states where even rain might be somewhat rare. A lot of members of the general public aren't going to spend money on stuff like tires if they don't feel like they HAVE to, and then the ice hits and you're in big trouble.
 

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No, these things happen everywhere. I’ve seen similar vids from the Northeast, the PNW, and even a few from the Midwest. You’d think Midwestern folk would be more adjusted to that sort of situation but without snow tire mandates or regular inspections many of these folks are probably driving on tires unfit for rain let alone ice or snow.
Yep, although it seems most of these pile ups in the traditional colder climates happen more due to squalls and whiteout conditions than just ice. One person crashes and the people behind can't see and just keep piling up.

These poor people were absolutely screwed being penned in by the concrete dividers on both sides. At least in most places here you can drive off the shoulder into a median or at least have a safer place to run to.

RIP. I am sure the body count will probably go up as they keep digging through the debris.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I mean this in the most innocuous way, but does this kind of thing only happen in southern states? We get lots of snow/ice every winter and very rarely have large deadly crashes like this. I guess what I'm asking is, is it inexperience? Is it not expecting Texas to have ice covered roadways? I'm just shocked that this can happen almost every time southern states get any sort of inclement winter weather.
I think the northern are better prepared for such weather and on the top of it with salt/sand immediately. Around me, they usually brine the roads ahead of time, sometimes a day before.

 

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Freezing rain is hell to prepare for. Pre-treatment only works for the first 20-30 minutes of precipitation. After that it's all washed off and you can only melt it off with salt or reapplication of brine. Southern DOT's just don't have the equipment and (more importantly) the experience operating said equipment to handle these situations like northern ones.
 

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I think the northern are better prepared for such weather and on the top of it with salt/sand immediately. Around me, they usually brine the roads ahead of time, sometimes a day before.

This is almost useless against freezing rain. It washes off very quickly. Works better for snow/sleet. We pre-treat in TN, but it usually only buys you a small amount of time during ice storms.
 

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Yep, although it seems most of these pile ups in the traditional colder climates happen more due to squalls and whiteout conditions than just ice. One person crashes and the people behind can't see and just keep piling up.

These poor people were absolutely screwed being penned in by the concrete dividers on both sides. At least in most places here you can drive off the shoulder into a median or at least have a safer place to run to.

RIP. I am sure the body count will probably go up as they keep digging through the debris.
Penned in by concrete dividers? Milwaukee would like to have a word with you. (this guy walked away by the way)

Vehicle falls 70 feet from Milwaukee's Zoo interchange ramp onto I-94

They have several large interchanges like this in Milwaukee and they can be absolutely terrifying inclement weather. I was through this exact ramp a couple weeks ago during a large storm and it was sketchy even in Outback on good winter tires.
 

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Absolutely nothing terrifies me more than this sort of thing.
Also see: Heavy fog or other near-zero visibility conditions where overdriving your visibility is common. Even if you are paying attention and are able to come to a stop, there are dozens on their way two can't.

Best advice I suppose is unlock your doors, leave your belts on, turn the car of, and stay put until the loud noises stop or something catches fire - whichever comes first..
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This is almost useless against freezing rain. It washes off very quickly. Works better for snow/sleet. We pre-treat in TN, but it usually only buys you a small amount of time during ice storms.
It's better than nothing, it helps with the initial freeze that catches most drivers by surprise. Additionally, the crews are usually on standby with additional salt and it makes their job easier.

Absolutely nothing terrifies me more than this sort of thing.
That, or someone crossing over from the episcopate lane.

This is from a few year ago. Brave camera man!

 

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They do pre-treat the roads around here, but that's it.

This is a mix of the entitled drivers of DFW, no plows or any real sort of road treatment, and people thinking their 4wd vehicle will keep them safe. Plus toooons of cars/trucks running eh all-seasons or summer tires.

Would I be afraid to drive in this? Nope. But I don't go out for winter drives around DFW because of every one else.
 

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I've lived in spots where it snows regularly, and the ice storms in Texas can actually be a lot more treacherous than your normal winter snowstorm. "Knowing how" to drive has very little to do with it.

For one, this is freezing rain to ice rather than just snow or icy snow. Snow or broken up ice and snow provides at least some "grit' and purchase for tires. This is the stuff that's hard to walk on, let alone drive. You are fine if you hit it and can just hands off steering/accelerator/brake inputs, but if you need to steer or stop at all you are hosed. All it takes is one driver in front of you to panic after hitting the ice to cause a chain reaction that can lead to a crash like this.

Ice can be really intermittent. You might have dry tarmac at one moment, and then suddenly you are on hockey rink ice. Bridges can cause it, but so too can an area with more wind exposure (not always visually obvious).

Another point (already mentioned above) is that there are few plows or road salt trucks. The surface is typically completely untreated.

Finally, equipment is often not ready for it. Lots of people on summer tires and none on winter tires. Bald tires don't really factor much when you are talking about completely slick ice.
 
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