It can be fun to drive in warm, sunny weather, especially if you have a convertible. Unless you live in California or some other warm-weather locale, though, this is not something you can experience on a daily basis. The weather can sometimes be downright nasty, especially in the winter months. Ice, rain, sleet, snow, and fog can wreak havoc on the roadways, causing wet roads and poor visibility. These factors can make driving difficult, leading to serious car accidents.
Wet roads are especially disastrous. Every year, close to one million car accidents are caused by slick pavement. These accidents lead to 4,500 fatalities. Snow and sleet cause 200,000 crashes, while ice accounts for 150,000 accidents. Slushy roads account for nearly 175,000 car crashes.
Bad weather accounts for 22 percent of all car accidents. Inclement weather, particularly rain, can cause heavy traffic and impact your travel in many ways. Read on to discover how you may be affected if you choose to drive in poor weather.
How Weather Impacts Road Travel
If you’re traveling in inclement weather, you’ll need to take your time. Don’t expect to be in a rush to get from Point A to Point B because chances are, you’re going to encounter some mobility issues. Here are some common situations you can expect:
- Decreased road capacity. Some lanes of the freeway may be unusable due to the accumulation of snow. Heavy rains can cause flooding. Winds can knock down trees and litter the roads with debris. In severe conditions, roads may be closed because they are too dangerous for travel. Therefore, you may need to plan alternate routes to get to your destination.
- Reduced visibility. Heavy fog, snow, rain, and sleet can reduce visibility. Instead of traveling at 65 mph, you may be slowing down to 50 mph or even less because you cannot see what’s in front of you. Be aware of slowdowns in these situations.
- Disrupted traffic signals. If you’re traveling on the side streets through busy intersections, you may notice a difference in the traffic signals. Sometimes there are delays because of severe weather. These delays help move traffic through as cars slow down to accommodate the weather conditions.
Liability in Poor Weather
When it comes to car accident liability in inclement weather, the rules of negligence still apply. As a driver, you have a duty to drive safely. This means slowing down and taking the weather into account. You should keep your vehicle serviced, with tires in good condition. You should also drive defensively and leave extra space between vehicles since it can take longer to stop.
Get Hurt? Get Gary!
It’s not always possible to drive in clear, sunny conditions. Sometimes we are forced to drive in the ice, rain, and fog, reducing visibility and traction. This can cause serious and even fatal accidents.
The Falkowitz Law Firm can take on your case and hold the liable party responsible. Whether your crash was caused by bad weather or another factor, we can help. Call our office today at 844-GET-GARY to schedule a free consultation.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.