The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) highlights that natural disasters and hazardous weather conditions contribute significantly to car accidents nationwide. Weather-related collisions, encompassing snow, rain, fog, and more, are among the deadliest weather disasters.
Although no one can control the weather, all drivers have an obligation to operate their vehicles in a safe manner, no matter what the weather conditions are. This means you may still have the opportunity to file a claim against the individual or entity who is responsible for causing your weather-related car accident injuries.
Inclement Weather and Car Accidents:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports nearly 6 million annual car accidents, with approximately 21% attributed to hazardous weather conditions. Between 2007 and 2016, over 400,000 weather-related car accidents resulted in around 6,000 fatalities, emphasizing the severity of such incidents.
Types of Weather and Their Impact:
According to the U.S. DOT, certain weather conditions pose higher risks for driving accidents:
- Snow, Slush, and Sleet:
- Responsible for an average of 210,341 accidents and nearly 740 fatalities over ten years.
- Reduced visibility and the potential for black ice make these conditions particularly hazardous.
- Causes an average of more than 573,000 car accidents annually, accounting for around 10% of all motor vehicle crashes.
- Wet or Icy Pavements:
- Account for approximately 70% of all weather-related car accidents, resulting in over 900,000 accidents and nearly 4,500 fatalities.
- Contributes to an average of 28,533 accidents and almost 500 fatalities annually, with dense fog creating dangerous road conditions.
How Dangerous Weather Causes Accidents:
Dangerous weather conditions can impair visibility, lead to high precipitation, and result in extreme temperatures or strong winds. These factors significantly impact a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, increasing the risk of accidents, traffic congestion, and damage to road infrastructure.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Poor Weather Conditions:
If involved in a weather-related car accident, contact emergency responders immediately. If safe to do so, gather witness accounts, exchange information with the other party, and document the accident details. This evidence can be crucial when filing a claim with insurance or pursuing legal action.
Despite inclement weather contributing to accidents, victims may have the right to compensation. Whether due to another driver’s negligence or inadequate safety precautions by the state, pursuing financial compensation for damages is an option.
When facing poor weather conditions, the best advice is to avoid the roads if possible. If travel is necessary, exercise caution, drive slowly, and pull over if conditions worsen. For those dealing with the aftermath of a weather-related car accident, seeking guidance from an experienced car accident lawyer at Bogin, Munns & Munns can help navigate insurance claims and legal proceedings effectively. Contact the firm through their online form or by phone to initiate the process today.
Bogin, Munns & Munns, with a team of over 40 specialized attorneys, ensures that your legal needs are in capable hands. With offices in Orlando and across Central Florida, the firm is committed to addressing various legal issues, including those arising from weather-related car accidents.