Winter weather brings some of the most dangerous types of driving conditions. Falling snow can make it difficult to see the road ahead, while icy patches may be impossible to spot until a driver skids out of control. However, the biggest hazard on the road is not snow, slush, or ice; rather, it’s the drivers who don’t know how to control their vehicles in these situations.
Who Is Liable for a Car Crash in Wintry Road Conditions?
Drivers cannot be held responsible for the weather, but they may be liable if they did not take adequate precautions to prevent a crash in poor conditions. While inclement weather can’t be used as a defense in a car accident claim, it still falls on the injured person to prove the at-fault driver’s negligence in order to collect damages.
Some common factors in inclement weather crashes include:
Engaging in activities that distract you from driving is always dangerous and is especially reckless during a storm.
Overtired drivers often have slowed reaction times, while drunk drivers may be confident they can make it home before the worst of the storm hits.
Before heading out, drivers have a duty to ensure that their vehicles are working properly. A dirty windshield, broken taillight, or worn-out brakes all increase the potential for a crash.
Winter tires and tire chains give drivers extra grip on the road surface, helping them maneuver better through snow and prevent swerving when driving on ice. A driver who chooses to drive on worn or bald tires in icy conditions puts everyone around him at risk.
Some accidents may not be the fault of a driver; sometimes, it’s the person or company who made their vehicle. In these cases, your attorney should investigate whether you could have a third-party crash claim.