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Inclement Weather and Car Crashes

Posted on in Car Accidents

inclement weather, Illinois traffic accident lawyerWinter snow opens up a variety of fun activities, but it can also pose serious practical problems. Icy roads and blinding snow can make driving much more difficult, and seriously increase the risk of accidents. The Federal Highway Administration reports a major increase in traffic accidents every year during the winter. Despite the fact that these accidents resulted from the weather, the law still holds people responsible for them, so drivers should understand the way that the law views these accidents. Drivers should also take care to engage in safe winter weather driving practices.

Liability for Bad Weather Accidents

Many people are surprised to discover that they can be found at fault for a winter traffic accident even when they were following all of the traffic laws. The issue is that the law requires people to take reasonable care not to harm other people when they get behind the wheel. This reasonable care includes adjusting the style of driving for the weather conditions. For instance, when roads are icy, people need to take care to increase their following distance since it will take longer for them to come to a stop.

One major way this shows up during winter weather is with speed. Drivers often think that they are fine as long as they are following the speed limit, but that is not the case. The law draws a distinction between exceeding the speed limit and driving with excessive speed. The government sets speed limits with dry roads and clear weather in mind. It expects drivers to decrease their speed below those limits when the weather conditions call for it. If a person fails to do so, then a court may hold them liable if an accident results from that excessive speed.

Bad Weather Driving Tips

In order to avoid this sort of accident liability during winter weather, drivers should make sure to practice safe winter driving. One of the most important things to do to ensure safe driving is the speed modification discussed above. Beyond that, there are other steps that drivers can take. Drivers should begin braking earlier when approaching intersections because the slick roads will increase a car's ultimate stopping distance. Drivers should also make sure that their cars are properly maintained. Having working wiper blades, proper tires, and effective brakes can make driving safer. Additionally, drivers can also keep a snow or ice scraper in the car since icy windshields and windows can decrease visibility and make driving much more dangerous.

Car accidents are a problem year-round, but inclement weather can make them much more likely. If you or one of your loved ones was recently injured in a car accident, contact a McHenry County traffic accident attorney today to learn more about the options available to you.

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