Bad Weather Accidents
One of the best aspects of living in Connecticut is the vibrant seasons that make up our year. However, with those changing seasons come shifts in weather that can take even longtime Connecticut residents by surprise. When this happens, the result can be an expensive car accident or worse, a life-threatening situation.
As experienced Connecticut car accident attorneys, we have handled a great number of cases involving accidents in bad weather. We have put together the following article to help victims understand what their options are after a crash caused by severe weather. When an accident in bad weather occurs, many Connecticut drivers feel as if they are victims of circumstances beyond their control, and do not realize the full extent of their rights after an accident of this nature.
If you have been involved in an accident caused by bad weather and would like to discuss your situation, contact the attorney team at The Flood Law Firm.
Crashes Due to Bad Weather
It is easy to understand why bad weather is high on the top ten causes of car accidents in the United States. When you are unable to see beyond the hood of your car due to snow, rain or fog, you suffer from more than just a natural impaired ability to drive. Studies have shown that being alarmed for your safety can actually slow down your reaction time and your brain’s ability to think clearly when it counts the most.
Connecticut’s climate includes weather such as fog, snow and rain, all of which are leading causes of bad weather accidents. And while many Connecticut residents are accustomed to taking necessary precautions during inclement times of year, it sometimes only takes a momentary lapse in attention or an unavoidable skid to cause a major accident on the road.
The fact is that bad weather significantly increases the chance of a car accident. Conditions such as fog, rain, sleet, snow and ice not only hamper visibility, but can also affect the performance of your vehicle. Snow may cover lines on the road, while icy patches can catch you off guard and cause your vehicle to spin out of control. Drivers may be blown off course by a high wind or collide with debris tumbling across the road. Even the beautiful autumns for which Connecticut is famous can end up causing accidents, thanks to slippery piles of leaves strewn over the pavement.
Even when your driving is excellent, you may be the victim of a bad weather accident if another driver is less prepared or cautious than you are. This is why it is impossible to overstate the importance of driving in a well-equipped vehicle (such as one with all-wheel drive) and moving at a slower speed during bad weather. The only thing worse than being caught in an accident in bad weather is being found at fault because you did not take the necessary precautions.
Obviously, the best option is to stay off the roads during periods of bad weather. But for many busy commuters in Connecticut, this is not always possible. If your lifestyle requires driving throughout the autumn and winter, you are well advised to begin practicing your bad weather driving skills once the weather begins turning cold. Even drivers who have endured many years of unpredictable Connecticut weather can benefit from a few hours of practice behind the wheel under wet or icy conditions. These practice sessions can make all the difference if an unexpected situation arises during your daily commute. The instincts and habits you have developed may save not only your life, but the lives of others on the road.
Other important tips for bad weather driving include refraining from using cruise control, especially on slick or wet roads, avoiding using the parking brake in cold or wintry weather and increasing your following distance to an 8- to 10-second distance behind the car in front of you. These simple precautions may be the key to preventing bad weather accidents and could not only save you a lot of money and frustration, but may even save your life.
Motor Vehicle Accidents Caused by Bad Weather
Accidents caused by bad weather can be particularly complicated. After all, when Mother Nature is the primary culprit, how can any one driver be found at fault?
However, certain factors in a crash caused by bad weather can go a long way toward proving your case.
The first thing to consider is the condition of the road on which the accident took place. Poor road maintenance causes more automobile accidents than bad weather, and when the two are combined, the results can be deadly. If your accident occurred on a Connecticut road that was particularly windy or steep, this may be an important factor in your car accident case. Even more important is if the road’s pavement quality was poor or the signage was not clear. Potholes, missing guardrails or unmarked construction areas are significant hazards for Connecticut drivers, and are only intensified by bad weather. If your accident was the result of poor road maintenance, it is important for the court and your insurance company to be aware of the fact before deciding fault.
The bottom line is that fault in any car accident is determined by the standard of “reasonable action.” In other words, if you can prove that your driving in the moments before your car accident reflected the most reasonable care under the circumstances, you should not be found at fault.
In cases of accidents caused by bad weather, every situation is different. For that reason, it is essential to have an experienced Connecticut car accident attorney on your side. Let us help you present your case not only to the court, but also to your insurance company, and make sure that you receive the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
Car accidents can happen to anyone. You should not have to be the victim of bad roads, bad weather or bad luck. If you have suffered from injuries or vehicle damage as a result of a car accident in bad weather, call the team of attorneys at The Flood Law Firm today. We are ready to fight for your rights so that you can focus on making a full recovery.