Snow hit the New York City region hard on Nov. 15, 2018, as several inches of winter precipitation created massive traffic jams on area bridges and streets. Tree branches across the city were felled by heavy snow, causing further traffic problems. As a result, local police warned residents to stay inside and avoid the roads. Nevertheless, the storm coincided with the evening rush-hour commute, and both drivers and public transit commuters filled the late afternoon and early evening streets.
Overcrowding temporarily closed the Port Authority Bus Terminal, as lines stretched outdoors and around the block. Many buses could not reach the terminal to drop off or pick up passengers due to being stuck in the inclement weather. Before the snow began to fall, NJ Transit warned of delays that would continue into the next day due to excessive overtime and ongoing delays in the system caused by the storm. Under federal law, bus drivers must take a mandatory rest period before beginning their next shift.
The traffic situation was also worsened by a multi-car accident on the George Washington Bridge. The delays became so severe that some people left their cars on the side of the road and began walking across the bridge in the snow. While city officials said that they deployed 700 vehicles to spread salt around city streets in the morning, the afternoon precipitation overwhelmed the preparations, leading to traffic chaos.
Bus accidents can be a particularly devastating effect of traffic jams, especially when the city or transit agency failed to properly prepare for bad weather. People who have been severely injured in a crash caused by an MTA vehicle may opt to work with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney experienced in municipal vehicle claims might help people to seek compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.
Source: NBC New York, "Snowstorm Paralyzes Traffic, Mucks Up Mass Transit During Rush Hour," 11/15/2018