Does Wintry Weather Excuse Poor Driving?

Wintry weather becomes commonplace this time of year. All drivers are required to obey the rules of the road drive safely, notwithstanding poor weather conditions. The rules of the road are designed to keep everyone safe.

In some conditions, outside elements can contribute to an auto accident. However, that does not mean that victims of accidents cannot recover compensation. Poor driving isn’t circumstantial, and the other motorist can be held responsible for their role in an auto accident. To learn more about how the law relates to this scenario, continue reading for more information.

The Dangers of Wintry Weather

In the late fall and winter months, snow, sleet, drizzle, and hail are all very common. When combined, these conditions create a slushy or rock-solid mix on the road. Cars are not designed to travel in these conditions, so the chances of being involved in a car accident can substantially increase.

Low visibility caused by the whiteness of snow and sleet can also make it difficult for drivers to see on the road. Wintry weather can make lives harder, even for the most skilled and experienced drivers. Nevertheless, drivers are legally responsible for driving safely, even in winter weather.

Wintry Weather Does Not Excuse Negligence

If you have driven in snow, ice, or hail, you know how difficult it can be. These and other wintry conditions can wreak havoc on your ability to maintain control of your vehicle and see what’s around you. For this reason, drivers are required to slow down and take other steps to ensure that they are being as safe as possible in winter weather conditions.

For example, while driving at or around the posted speed limit in a snow storm may be legal, that does not mean that it is a good idea or prudent to do so. In fact, in most cases, not adjusting one’s driving to adverse weather conditions would likely be considered negligent, meaning that anyone injured by a driver who ignores poor weather condition and causes and accident will likely be able to recover compensation.

All Drivers Must Abide by the Law

Stopping at red lights, observing speed limits, and keeping a reasonable distance from other motorists are common laws by which we all must abide. These rules are fundamental in keeping everyone safe.

This isn’t to say that unfortunate accidents don’t happen when the rules are followed. For example, you could turn on your headlights and maintain a safe speed, and your car can still slide and cause a wreck.

In this case, there may be other roles in play for why your accident happened. But, if you followed the law, you’re not accountable for poor driving. If someone collides into your car because they didn’t follow the rules of the road, then that’s poor driving on their part.

What Constitutes Poor Driving?

The definition of poor driving extends further than just not following the rules of the road. It also encompasses these general areas of driving:

  • Not using common sense, such as driving too close behind to another car
  • Being intoxicated or incapacitated while driving
  • Driving a car that’s not in an unsafe condition
  • Failing to account for slick roads
  • Failing to use headlights during storms

Every driver should have common sense on the road. Following the rules of the road is all any motorist needs to maintain this. Don’t run red lights, don’t drive too close to other cars, and maintain the speed limit at all times.

In addition, drivers should not be intoxicated while driving. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs contributes to poor driving and can lead to a vehicular accident. Being incapacitated (taking sleep medication, for example) is also dangerous and should never be practiced while driving.

Lastly, you should never drive a car that’s not in a safe condition. Having damaged tires, a lack of mirrors, or any other major car problems does not mean the driver has no accountability if they cause a wreck.

All cars on the road must be in working condition. Now, there are specific caveats to this rule. If you’re driving a car and a sudden issue takes place, such as a flat tire or your motor stops working, then it’s still your responsibility to pull over and avoid slamming into other cars.

If a flat tire occurs suddenly and you happen you get into a car accident, you could still be held liable in some cases. It’s best to speak to a lawyer about the technicalities of specific legal situations.

If you have been injured as the result of a negligent car accident during wintry weather, you should also contact a personal injury attorney.

You Can Fight for Compensation

Being involved in a car accident is a serious matter. In wintry weather, your ability to evade a careless driver or come to a halt after an accident can be severely reduced. With that said, why should you be responsible for paying the price for an accident you didn’t cause?

Unfortunately, insurance companies are generally out for themselves. They want to save as much money as possible, and they will attempt to deny or undermine your claim if you’re seeking compensation.

Don’t be fooled. Accepting a low settlement offer is what insurance companies want you to do. Instead, hire a personal injury attorney to fight for the damages you deserve so that you can pay your medical bills and be compensated for all of your pain and suffering. Some of other losses that accident victims commonly seek in winter weather car accidents include:

  • Property damage
  • Lost income
  • Lost quality of life
  • Future medical expenses

The most effective way to ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve after a winter weather accident is to call a South Carolina car accident lawyer immediately.

Give Us a Call Today!

If you have been recently injured in a car accident due to wintry weather and careless driving, please give us a call at 1-833-245-6565 to speak to an intake specialist for a free consultation today!

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