New York has recently been hit by a series of snow storms that have pushed local resources to their limits. As a result, towns across Long Island have been running low on road salt, which is essential to keeping roads free of ice and snow. This may increase the likelihood of dangerous road conditions, which in turn makes it more likely that people will get into accidents while driving.
Explaining the Salt Shortage
There are two principal reasons for the shortage of salt. The first is simple: Long Island has been hit by a series of winter storms that has dumped an unusually large amount of snow on the state. This is particularly surprising as the last two winters have been relatively mild for Long Island, where little snow fell. This winter, however, the Island has been pelted by storms, getting nearly two feet of snow in a handful of weeks.
The second reason has to do with the supply of road salt. Several towns, including Brookhaven, Riverhead, and Huntington, all get their salt from a supplier located on Staten Island. However, recently implemented weight restrictions for trucks travelling on New York City highways have limited the amount of salt that can be transported at once. As a result, it was harder for these towns to restock after a storm to prepare for the next storm.
The Dangers of Limited Road Salt
Salt is essential for keeping roads safe to drive on during the winter months. Laying down salt before a storm can prevent ice from forming and keep snow from sticking, and it can also help them melt more quickly when they do form. In combination with sand, which helps vehicles keep traction on slippery roads, it is an essential safeguard in ensuring people can travel during the winter. It is for that reason that most towns in New York keep a large stockpile of salt for just such an occasion, which they can readily distribute in the event of a snow storm or other winter weather.
Without sufficient salt, it will become more likely that roads will become iced over and dangerous to drive on. This can increase the likelihood of a traffic accident, by creating slick surfaces that make it harder to hit the brakes in time to avoid a collision. In particular, the hidden hazard of black ice, which is often invisible to drivers on the road, can cause sudden skid-outs when drivers hit them. With more dangerous winter weather potentially on the way, drivers should be wary, especially when driving on side roads that are less likely to be well-ploughed or properly salted and sanded.
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important that you contact an attorney to understand your legal rights. The Brooklyn personal injury attorneys at Zlotolow & Associates can bring more than two decades of experience to your case. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts. To schedule a consultation, you can call us toll-free at (886) 800-0092, or you can visit our contact page.