Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers Represent Victims Injured in Accidents Caused by Poor Weather Conditions
Most car accidents are caused by driver error, but even the safest drivers can encounter unavoidable hazards on the road. Weather can be unpredictable and presents many challenges to drivers. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) estimates that one in four auto accidents involves inclement weather. In our area, rain, snow, sleet, and slush frequently create treacherous road conditions that drivers must negotiate. When a weather-related car accidentoccurs, the personal injury lawyers of Law Offices of Jay L. Edelstein are here to help you review your legal options so you can move forward with your life.
Common Factors in Weather-Related Auto Accidents
Winter car crashes are especially hazardous, with many variables to consider. Some common hazards drivers face during the winter are:
- Black ice – Often roadways that appear to be clear are actually covered in a thin layer of ice. This makes surfaces extremely slippery and often catches drivers unaware. A layer of fresh snow can also hide ice underneath.
- Limited visibility – A heavy snowfall can cause “whiteout” conditions, making it difficult to see other cars or the road ahead. Drivers may encounter impediments very suddenly if they are unable to see far enough in front of the vehicle.
- Freezing rain – This term refers to raindrops that freeze when they make contact with a surface, including the windshield of a car. It can create visibility problems and make roadways slicker, particularly on bridges and overpasses.
- Sleet – Sleet can look just like regular packed snow, but is actually much more slippery, which can catch drivers off-guard.
Drivers Must Take Precautions Against Dangerous Weather Conditions
While weather-related hazards may surprise drivers, there are steps drivers should take to prevent auto accidents. After a snowstorm, drivers must thoroughly clean off their cars before driving. Snow and ice that flies off of moving vehicles can land on other cars and cause drivers to lose control. In New Jersey, drivers are subject to fines if they drive with snow or ice still remaining on their car. If inclement weather occurs while a driver is out, he or she should be prepared with an ice scraper and windshield wiper fluid that contains anti-freeze.
Prepping your vehicle for the winter can preempt car accidents caused by poor weather conditions. In areas such as ours where snowfall is common, drivers should install snow tires for the winter, or at least make sure tires are in good working condition before the season starts. Four-wheel drive and anti-lock brakes are features that can minimize sliding and skidding and help the driver regain control on slippery roads. Using a low gear on hills can also help counteract skidding.
Once on the road, drivers should behave cautiously to properly handle hazards. Speed limits are to be followed under normal conditions, but in inclement weather, it may be necessary to reduce your speed significantly. Drivers should increase their following distance, as slick roadways may make it difficult to stop. This also applies to intersections, where drivers should allow extra time to come to a stop or make a turn. Drivers in areas where winter weather is an issue should know how to handle skids, by taking their foot off of the accelerator and turning the wheel while applying the brake.
Philadelphia Car Accident Attorneys at Law Offices of Jay L. Edelstein Fight for Victims of Auto Accidents
Some weather-related auto accidents cannot be avoided, but drivers have a responsibility to do everything in their power to stay safe on the road. If a driver has not taken the necessary precautions and causes an accident, he or she is liable for any injuries that may occur. Car accidents involving inclement weather can have devastating effects, including spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, or even death.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a weather-related car accident, the experienced car accident lawyers at the Philadelphia personal injury law offices of Jay L. Edelstein can help determine who is at fault and hold that person accountable for their negligence. With offices conveniently located in Center City, Philadelphia, we help auto accident victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today at 215-893-9311 or 856-809-3150 or contact us online to review your case with a qualified automobile accident attorney.