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Dust storm causes pile up on I-10

The scene could be described as something out of a weather-related disaster movie. Billowing clouds of thick sand blanketing a section of highway and causing drivers to be caught in zero-visibility conditions. This was the scene on Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson where a dust storm caused a huge pileup.

According to an ABC report, 19 vehicles were involved in the accident in what is being described as a chain reaction accident. Essentially, one truck hit another truck that was stopped for slow traffic, and following cars ran into each other as they could not stop in time. In all, at least 12 people were injured and three others were killed.

The dust was so thick that emergency crews had to bring in portable lights as they worked into sunset.

While the dust storm was an unusual event, traffic accidents in inclement conditions are not. It is expected that drivers during the fall driving season will see their share of foggy mornings and rainy evenings where visibility will be limited. When the conditions get tough, drivers should reduce speed and become ever more vigilant in order to avoid being in an accident.

As a matter of fact, drivers have a legal duty to do so. A driver is required to use reasonable care when operating a motor vehicle, and slowing down in bad weather is widely considered an element of such care. Should a driver fail to do this, and an accident occurs as a result, the driver could be held responsible for the accident.

If you have questions about your rights and options after a weather-related accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help. 

Source: ABC, “3 killed in dust storm crashes on I-10 in Arizona,” October 30, 2013

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