Auto Accidents Caused by Bad Weather Conditions
Slick roads, reduced visibility, and even temperature can all affect your car’s ability to navigate Connecticut’s roadways. When an auto accident is caused by bad weather conditions it can affect your rights as an injured driver or passenger. Find out what you can do if you were in a bad car accident caused by rain, snow, wind, or fog.
How Many Accidents are Caused by Bad Weather Conditions?
There are over one million weather-related car crashes every year in the United States. Weather and road conditions contribute to one in every five car accidents. Of those, more than 301,000 involve personal injury, and 4,900 are fatal car crashes.
When the weather turns foul, it can severely affect drivers’ ability to control their vehicles. Even if you grew up in Connecticut and have been driving in inclement weather for years, an unexpected storm or gust of wind could result in serious injury, or even death. Bad car accidents can result from all kinds of weather conditions, including:
- Wet pavement (70% of weather-related crashes)
- Rain (46%)
- Snow and sleet (18%)
- Icy pavement (13%)
- Snow-covered or slushy pavement (16%)
- Fog (3%)
Weather-Related Accidents Happen in Every Season
When you think of weather-related accidents, you probably think of snow. Every year, the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security issues CT weather travel bans warning motorists to stay off the roads in the face of winter storms.
But as you can see from the list above, rain and wet pavement actually cause more accidents than snow and ice every year. One of the most dangerous times to drive is right after it starts to rain, when the water on the roads mixes with dirt and oil, creating slippery surfaces that can keep your car from braking and cause hydroplaning.
That means spring auto accidents and summer car crashes are just as likely to be caused by bad weather as those that happen in winter. Even Connecticut falls bring threats of their own. Gusty winds can blow fallen leaves, dirt, and debris in drivers’ paths or push their vehicles unexpectedly, creating the danger of a crash.
Can a Driver Be “At Fault” for Auto Accidents Caused by Bad Conditions?
Connecticut law measures who is at fault, which will determine what your auto insurance will pay for and whether the other driver will owe you any compensation for your injuries. Weather conditions can be unpredictable. Even good drivers can be caught unaware by a patch of black ice or slick pavement. However, just because there was bad weather doesn’t mean you won’t be able to collect damages for your injuries.
In good weather and bad, Connecticut drivers are required to use reasonable care while driving. What is “reasonable” depends on the circumstances, including the weather conditions. While some things will always be unreasonable, such as drunk driving, reckless driving, or distracted driving, others become more dangerous when bad driving conditions are involved. In weather-related accidents, driver negligence could look like:
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Following too closely
- Driving without headlights
- Swerving between lanes
- Failing to properly maintain their tires, windshield wipers, or vehicle
- Driving with obscured vision
If you were injured in a bad weather auto accident, it will be up to your personal injury attorney to prove that the other driver was not taking reasonable steps to drive safely and avoid the collision. Sometimes, the police responding to the accident will help by issuing tickets or charges for violating Connecticut traffic laws. In other cases, you may need to use weather reports, travel ban notifications, photos of the accident scene, or even expert testimony to show who was at fault for the crash.
At The Lebedevitch Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys have extensive experience helping the victims of car crashes. We can help you identify the elements involved in the crash, build your case for the other driver’s negligence, and get the just compensation you need to get you back on your feet. Contact The Lebedevitch Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation.