Car and Truck Accidents Caused by Weather
As we head deeper into fall, Marylanders are asking themselves the question of whether we will see any snow this winter. However, drivers need to be aware that winter can bring dangerous driving conditions even if there is no snow. These conditions repeatedly cause serious car and truck accidents. If you have been injured in a weather-related motor vehicle, you may need a personal injury lawyer to help you put your life back together.
Dangerous Winter Weather Conditions That Cause Car and Truck Accidents
Of course, snow is arguably the most dangerous weather condition you can face as a driver. This is particularly the case in Maryland, where many drivers have limited experience with driving in the snow. Conditions can quickly become unpredictable, especially in heavy traffic. However, Maryland drivers should be aware that winter driving can be dangerous, even when there isn’t snow. Some of the more common dangerous weather conditions include the following:
- Heavy rain
- Freezing rain
- Strong winds
- Fog and mist
These conditions can make it difficult to stop, keep control of your vehicle, or significantly reduce visibility and result in an accident in the blink of an eye. If you have been seriously injured in a weather-related accident, a personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to make a full recovery.
Shorter Days Present an Additional Hazard
Strictly speaking, shorter days are not caused by the weather, but they are a common factor in winter driving accidents. For many of us, we are driving to work while the sun is rising and driving home while the sun is setting. It can be very difficult to see when the sun is on the horizon, making it harder to see oncoming traffic and other hazards. This can lead to accidents at intersections, rear-end accidents, and accidents where the driver goes off the road or strikes a stationary object.
The Weather is Not An Excuse
When weather-related accidents occur, you will often hear the same explanations – “I tried to stop but I just couldn’t” or “I couldn’t see.” While weather-related accidents are sometimes unavoidable, the fact that weather was a factor in causing the accident does not mean that no one is at fault.
Weather conditions do not relieve drivers of their legal responsibility to drive safely. The truth is that many people fail to account for weather conditions and adjust their driving accordingly. This typically involves driving too fast for weather conditions, even if they are driving within the posted speed limit. Following too closely is another common mistake that can lead to an accident because weather conditions require a greater stopping distance.
Winter weather requires drivers to slow down and drive more carefully. Failure to do so is negligence, which means that someone who causes an accident can be held liable for any resulting injuries they cause. If you have been injured in a winter-weather car accident, a personal injury lawyer can help you get compensation for your injuries, lost income, and other losses.
What You Can Do to Prepare for Winter Driving
Many winter driving accidents have the same causes. As a result, there are some simple steps that you can take to protect yourself:
- Drive defensively. Be on the alert for other drivers who are driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, or otherwise driving aggressively.
- Stay alert. Keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times.
- Increase your distance from other vehicles. The more distance you put between yourself and other vehicles, the more time you will have to avoid an accident.
- Keep up with maintenance. Make sure your tires have plenty of tread so that you have traction when you need it. Make sure your headlights, brake lights, tail lights, and all other lights are functioning. Make sure that your defrosters are properly functioning.
- Get off the road. If conditions are too dangerous or you simply feel unsafe, do not hesitate to get off the road and wait for conditions to improve. That said, make sure that you stop only where it is safe. Avoid pulling off onto the shoulder unless absolutely necessary.
Perhaps the most important thing is to remember that your life and your health are more important than getting to wherever you are going.
Call Personal Injury Lawyer Thomas E. Pyles if You Have Been in a Weather-Related Accident
The Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles has been helping injured Marylanders get the compensation they need to make a full recovery for over three decades. If you have been injured in an accident, we can evaluate your case, determine whether you have a claim, and explain your options. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 301-705-5006 or contact us online to discuss your case.