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Wintry Weather Leads to 100-Car Pileup on Denver’s 6th Ave.

by  on  Car Accidents & Motor Vehicle Collisions

The first snowfall of the season in Denver was quickly followed by a major accident that snarled traffic and left several vehicles inoperable.

A total of 100 cars piled up on the eastbound and westbound portions of West 6th Avenue at North Kalamath Street to North Federal Boulevard, NBC News reports. That shut down traffic across all six lanes – stretching about 1.3 miles – for several hours as inoperable cars and others whose drivers were sent to a hospital had to be removed.

The accident was the largest of several crashes across the region as winter weather set in for the first time this season.

“The Denver Police Department issued a crash alert because there were simply too many incidents for the department to respond to every incident,” Jalopnik reports. “The police advised residents only to report crashes to the police if someone was injured, the crash was blocking the roadway, a driver failed to provide proof of insurance or a license, a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or the municipal government was involved.”

The Denver metro area saw two to four inches of snow overnight before the 6th Ave. accident, according to NBC. The snow had stopped by the time the crash happened, but icy roads posed a serious hazard for drivers.

By 6:20 a.m., Denver Police were warning that the stretch of road was completely closed due to severe accidents.

“Multiple people were seen exiting their vehicles and walking down the westbound lanes of 6th Avenue while their cars were being towed away,” Fox 31 reported. “The damage on the cars ranged from being completely totaled to minor dents.”

There appear to have been only minor injuries stemming from the collision. Cars were towed to Lot C at Empower Field, where owners were told to retrieve the vehicles. 

The road was reopened about five hours later, according to Fox 31.

Meanwhile, several other crashes were also reported across the region throughout the morning.

That includes a multi-car pileup in Adams County that saw a stretch of I-25 temporarily closed. No major injuries were reported in that collision.

Winter Weather Driving in Colorado

The crashes are a timely reminder of the hazards that come with hitting the road during winter months in Colorado. While those involved in the recent car accidents walked away without major injury, these kinds of crashes can have life-changing and even life-threatening results.

The good news is that there are several steps that car owners and drivers can take to reduce the risk of accidents in winter weather. It all starts with preparing for a season filled with ice and snow.

State law requires all vehicles operating on Colorado highways during snowy conditions to be equipped with tires with at least 3/16 tread. Alternatively, motorists can instead use chains or a traction device, like an AutoSock. Violations come with fines and surcharges ranging from $130 to $650.

Traffic experts and local police often suggest that motorists bring their cars in for routine maintenance ahead of winter driving season to reduce the risk of breaking down on the road. Drivers should check to see if their vehicles have been recalled by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

Drivers should also check that their tires are properly inflated and that they have a working spare in the vehicle. Get old batteries replaced to avoid trouble on the road and 

have an emergency kit in the vehicle in order to be prepared in the event of an accident. 

Perhaps the most important piece of advice is to think about the trip and understand what you’re getting into. Check weather reports and plan your route in advance and check road conditions ahead of time at COtrip.org. Stay off of the road whenever possible in hazardous conditions.

When you need to hit the road, be sure to scrape and remove ice from all windows and use your lights. Slow down to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles.

Getting Compensation for Injuries in Winter Weather Crashes

Anyone who is injured in a car accident in Colorado has the right to seek compensation for their injuries. That includes money for medical bills, property damage, missed wages during recuperation and any long-term earning capacity impact.

Winter weather crashes can raise a number of unique questions about who is to blame. The most common source of compensation in these cases is the car driver who caused the accident (and his or her insurer), but you have to be able to prove the driver’s liability.

Drivers in Colorado have a “duty of care” to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. That means maintaining safe speeds and complying with traffic laws. It also means refraining from dangerous behavior like drinking and driving, fiddling with GPS controls or texting behind the wheel. 

In wet, icy or snowy conditions, what is reasonable may very well change. Although the speed limit on a highway may be 55 miles per hour, for example, driving anywhere near that speed may be reckless under the conditions.

Other parties may also be to blame in some situations. If the driver was behind the wheel of a company car or on the clock for work, his or her employer is likely to share liability. Auto manufacturers and parts makers are also often legally responsible when defective or malfunctioning vehicles cause a crash.

Speak With a Denver Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, a Denver car accident lawyer at Levine Law can help you fight back and get the compensation that you deserve. We are seasoned lawyers who have dedicated our careers to helping people and families get back on their feet after an accident.

We are pleased to represent clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver car accident lawyer today.