Winter Weather and Car Accidents
Driving during winter weather conditions is hardly anyone’s idea of a good time. The winter months bring heavy snowfalls, hazardous driving conditions due to low visibility, and icy roads. These severe weather conditions often cause plenty of car accidents that can and do result in injuries and, in some instances, death. Thousands of people suffer injuries in winter weather crashes each year across the United States.
It can be incredibly challenging to drive during winter weather, so it’s essential to know the various aspects of winter weather driving. It is vital to remember that regardless of the driving conditions, a driver can still be held accountable for a car accident that includes all injuries and any damages that were sustained. If you have been involved in a winter weather car accident, it would be ideal to contact a qualified Nashville car accident lawyer at the Bednarz Law Firm.
How Snow and Ice Affect a Car Accident
In America, more than 70 percent of the country’s roads are situated in regions that receive snow and severe winter conditions. It is estimated that these regions receive on average five inches of snow annually. Interestingly, roughly 70 percent of the American population lives in an area that receives snow during the winter season.
Snow and ice can affect the outcome of a car accident significantly. These weather conditions are less than ideal and often tend to panic drivers. Many drivers might not know that snow and ice significantly reduce pavement friction, increasing a car’s likelihood of sliding and crashing. With less friction, cars cannot maneuver properly, nor can they, in some instances, maintain proper traction. Snow and ice also reduce visibility which is another contributing factor to the increased likelihood of car accidents occurring during the winter months.
Shockingly during winter weather, 24 percent of car accidents occur on roads where it has been snowing and on icy and slushy pavements. However, car accidents can be avoided in winter weather if proper precautions are taken and if drivers know the risks and the different types of accidents that frequently occur during this season.
Common Types of Car Accidents During Winter Weather
It stands to reason that if you know the common types of car accidents that occur during winter weather, you are more likely to avoid them. Below are three of the most common winter weather car accidents.
- Lane drifting car accidents: Poor visibility, severe winter weather, and cold temperatures all attribute to a driver’s discomfort when driving during winter. Lane drifting accidents are common because drivers cannot see where they are driving, making it easy for the vehicles to drift into another lane. It’s crucial to utilize deductive reasoning if you cannot see the dividing lines and to drive according to the road rules.
- Spin-out car accident collisions: In winter, weather roads are often slicker due to black ice and slushy paving. Spin-out crashes are more common during these conditions. When a car is spinning, it’s almost impossible to get the vehicle under control again. If your car is spinning, the best course of action is to try and steer it in the direction of the way the car is going.
- Rear-end car accidents: Rear-end collisions are prevalent in winter weather when there is black ice present. Quickly braking when your car is sliding can make matters worse and cause more damage during an accident. Additionally, decreased visibility also causes people to misjudge the distance between vehicles. That is why it’s important to drive slowly and make sure you keep a minimum of two to three car lengths between your car and the vehicle in front of you.
Top Three Tips to Undertake to Avoid a Car Accident during Winter Weather
Below we have briefly listed three handy tips that you should consider undertaking if you often drive during winter weather.
- Ensure your vehicle is prepared with all the necessary winter equipment such as snow tires, chains, and tire socks. Additionally, ensure you have a scraper, shovel, and brush. Moreover, you should also check your brakes and any other essential car systems.
- Even if you are a safe driver, those around you might not be, which tends to be especially true during the winter seasons. Keep a watchful eye out for all drivers around you, and if you notice a driver taking unnecessary risks, be sure to drive defensively.
- It’s crucial to always check the traffic and weather conditions before setting out to drive during winter. If you’re aware of the conditions, you can better prepare, which will reduce the likelihood of you panicking or getting involved in a car accident.
Who is Liable for a Car Accident during Winter Weather?
Even though driving in winter weather and extreme conditions is challenging, a driver still has a responsibility to maintain a duty of care. If a driver is negligent with either their car equipment, such as utilizing faulty breaks or failing to use proper snow equipment, they can be held liable for an accident. Additionally, suppose the driver could not adhere to road regulations and was speeding or driving under the influence. In that case, they can also be held liable for injuries and damages sustained in a car accident. Ultimately, if a driver was negligent and failed to undertake their duty of reasonable care, they can be held liable.
Get in Contact with a Tennessee Car Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Winter Weather Car Accident
Car accidents during winter can be traumatizing as they often result in injuries and damages. Should you have found yourself injured during a car accident, you could be entitled to compensation. At the Bednarz Law Firm, we can assist you with your claims process while striving to achieve the best possible outcome. Should you want to get in touch with a Nashville or Tennessee personal injury lawyer, you can contact us today.