Most car accidents occur because of a negligent driver. Inclement weather conditions often cause the rate of crashes to increase significantly. After an accident in bad weather, determining the responsible party is often confusing and challenging. Yet, finding the liable party is critical for a victim to be able to recover damages and receive compensation for their injuries and losses. Therefore, a thorough investigation and evidence review are critical. Insurance agency adjusters also add to the confusion by using manipulative tactics. Contact an experienced weather related car accident lawyer at The Mark Casto Law Firm, PC at 706-450-7071 to learn more about your legal rights, and get your questions answered.
The Most Common Types of Weather Related Car Accidents
Inclement weather conditions make traveling on roadways hazardous. Not only are the accidents more common during severe weather such as fog, rain, and snow, but accidents during inclement weather conditions are also often more severe. Traffic laws require that motorists use more caution during those times. Some of the most common accidents during bad weather include:
- Rear-end collisions
- Rollover accidents
- T-Bone crashes
- Head-on collisions
- Fixed object crashes
Slippery roads make coming to a sudden stop more challenging. When drivers fail to use caution and stay alert during inclement weather, it elevates the risk of crashes. Accidents involving other vehicles and fixed objects often increase during these types of dangerous conditions.
Types of Hazardous Weather Conditions
Any change in weather can increase the number of traffic collisions, but some are more hazardous than others, and those include:
- Extreme fog and loss of visibility
- Rain and wet roads, especially the first ten minutes after it begins raining
- Black ice
- Blizzards leading to loss of visibility
- Snowy and icy conditions
Most drivers know that snow and ice cause hazardous driving conditions. Unfortunately, many fail to use caution for other more common conditions like rain. Wet and slick roads lead to more traffic incidents than other forms of weather related car accidents.
The Best Tips to Avoid Motor Vehicle Crashes During Inclement Weather
Poor weather conditions can make traveling hazardous and can lead to a significant increase in vehicle collisions. However, there are steps to help avoid the incidents and stay safer on the roadways.
Reducing speed, sometimes below the speed limit, is the most effective way to avoid traffic accidents during poor weather. Slowing down will have a massive impact on stopping distance. That is especially true when the roads are wet or icy. Speeding will always increase the risk of an accident. Yet, when the streets are slick, it dramatically increases the chance of losing control of the vehicle or hydroplaning.
Brake With Caution
When motorists slam on the brakes on slippery roads, there is a significant increase in the likelihood of losing control of the car. Try to maintain a steady and safe speed and remain cautious.
Increase Following Distance
Maintaining a safe following distance from other cars and staying alert is essential. While it is always important to leave plenty of space, slowing down and increasing the following distance is critical in poor weather. Be prepared for other vehicles to make sudden maneuvers at all times.
Always Use Headlights to Increase Visibility
Low visibility is a leading cause of vehicle collisions during inclement weather. An effective rule of thumb is that if windshield wipers are on, the headlights should be too. Motorists should also ensure they use headlights in areas with low visibility in average weather conditions and on two-lane roads.
Never Attempt to Drive Through Rushing Water
During flash floods, motorists commonly drive through rushing water, which is extremely dangerous. According to the United States Department of Transportation, 12 inches of fast-moving water is enough to carry away most cars, including larger passenger car vehicles such as SUVs. The most significant cause for drawing in floods is motorists attempting to drive through rising and rushing water.
Is the Weather Ever Totally at Fault?
Although extremely rare, there are some instances where no driver involved in the crash is legally liable due to the dangerous weather conditions. According to the Georgia Code Annotated Code § 13-4-21, an “Act of God” is an affirmative defense when the collision occurs because of situations outside of the control of everyone involved.
This legal argument states that there is nothing any of the motorists did to cause the accident, and there was nothing any of the drivers could have done to stop it from happening. Flash flooding, tornadoes, and other natural disasters may fall within the legislation. A dedicated car accident lawyer at The Mark Casto Law Firm could help determine if your car crash falls under these statute’s guidelines. When collisions occur because of an “Act of God,” each driver’s insurance policy would pay for their damages.
Call an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
Every car accident that occurs during inclement weather is different and has its own set of unique details and circumstances. Even in inclement weather, car crashes often occur because of a driver’s negligence. In fact, careless actions such as texting while behind the wheel are far more dangerous when there is rain, ice, or snow on the highway.
Within an instant, negligent and reckless behavior can cause serious car accidents, leaving a victim with painful injuries, the inability to return to work, and property damage. Weather-related car accidents present more challenges than other accidents. If you suffered injuries or losses as a result of a weather related car accident, consider scheduling a meeting with an experienced lawyer at The Mark Casto Law Firm, PC at 706-450-7071 to learn more about your legal rights.