Winter Weather Wrecks Havoc on New Hampshire Roadways
Winter weather and the road hazards that go along with it are nothing new for New Hampshire drivers. Sometimes though, experience with icy conditions can lead to carelessness. The most recent storm brought over two feet of snow and was a contributing factor in countless highway crashes. Police say that drivers, despite lowered mandatory speed limits were going too fast.
Lt. Chris Aucoin of the New Hampshire State Police Troop B said that not enough people pay attention to lowered speed limits and police warnings.
"Because of the level of snowfall, going 15, 20, 25 mph is plenty," he said. "In some cases people are driving 70 mph."
Going that fast makes the chances of sliding off the road or crashing even higher than usual. Unfortunately, this was the case as the slowed traffic across the state was due to the amount of accidents- not driver caution. Crashes on the Everett Turnpike in Merrimack and Nashua and Interstate 93 in Salem and Windham caused multiple lanes to be closed. Accidents also affected the flow of traffic along Interstate 293 and Route 101.
In Hillsborough County alone Lt. Aucoin said that troopers had responded to 30 accidents between 6 a.m. and noon. Weather reports were calling for the snow to change to freezing rain, increasing the likelihood of even more car accidents along New Hampshire's roadways.
The state's police force attempted to slow motorists down by increasing their presence on the streets. Through the use of patrolling and handing out citations they hoped to decrease the amount of accidents and injuries on the roads. Even so, people continued to drive faster than they should.
According to Lt. Aucoin, "People don't feel 50 or 60 mph is unsafe because they're in their nice warm vehicle and they feel protected. What they don't understand is that any change in road conditions can make it hard for them to slow down."
The take home? If you are going too fast your chances of crashing increase exponentially. Help everyone on the road avoid accidents and follow the posted speed limit or the police's reduced limit during winter weather.