In much of the country, driving during the winter season presents a unique set of issues. Winter weather creates driving hazards, and everyone should take proper precautions when on the road in questionable weather. Some people believe that bad weather conditions absolve a driver from fault if a car accident occurs. This is simply not true, as all drivers have a legal obligation to take the weather into consideration and operate their vehicle safely through bad weather conditions. If you have been injured by another driver in a winter weather accident, please contact an experienced car accident attorney to learn how you may be able to recover compensation.
Winter Weather is a Huge Safety Risk
According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, winter weather presents a significant highway safety risk. Weather is a factor in almost two million car accidents each year. Snow and ice are factors in more than their fair share of accidents. Winter weather conditions simply make it much more difficult to control a vehicle and to safely stop a vehicle. This exacerbates the danger of already risky and negligent driver actions such as speeding or distracted driving.
Driver Error is Almost Always Still a Factor
Winter weather is a factor in many car accidents. The key word there is ‘factor’; it may not the singular cause. It is possible to operate a vehicle safely in almost all winter weather conditions. Further, in those rare circumstances where the weather makes it impossible to drive safely, then drivers should stay off the road period. All drivers have a legal responsibility to operate their vehicle without causing unreasonable danger to others; if they can not do that, they should not be driving at that moment. To be sure, driver error is a significant factor in the vast majority of winter weather highway accidents. Speeding, distracted driving, or other unsafe driving tactics are always considered negligence. But, drivers are also obligated to take the road and weather conditions into consideration. For example, imagine that the posted speed limit on a highway is 45 miles per hour. Also imagine that on a given evening, snow is falling. The snow greatly reduces the visibility and makes the road slick. In those conditions, drivers should not be travelling at 45 miles per hour. They must go much slower. You can only go as fast as the road conditions safely allow. Driving too fast on a snowy road is negligent, even if you are not going faster than the posted speed limit.
Contact An Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Accidents in winter weather are not inevitable. Drivers are still responsible for the damage they cause. All drivers must adjust along with the road conditions to ensure the safety of everyone else on the road. Do not let another driver or a large opposing insurance company try to put all the blame on the weather after an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a winter weather car accident, please contact an experienced Chicago car accident attorney as soon as possible.