Inclement Weather and Driving a Dangerous Recipe for Car Accidents
With the recent bad storms here in Atlanta, we are reminded that weather conditions directly affect the number of auto accidents in not only Atlanta but throughout the state.
Adverse weather may be a sign of changing seasons or merely an anomaly, but in times of storms such as rain and snow, drivers react differently which can create havoc on the roadways.
Ice, snow and rainy weather create conditions on the roadways that cause about 24 percent of all car crashes. Drivers need to be extra vigilant when driving during any change of weather. Some examples of difficult driving conditions caused by inclement weather include:
- Decreased visibility caused by heavy rain, fog or snow
- Bad traction from a wet roadway can make it harder to stop and to avoid collisions
- Vehicle moving at vastly different speeds (i.e. some drivers are cautious while others ignore adverse conditions)
- Strong wind can affect steering and handling
Most weather-related crashes result from the pavement being wet due to rainy conditions. Many drivers downplay the effects of rain on road conditions and fail to adjust their driving habits to be more cautious. Drivers who slow down and maintain a greater following distance in between cars substantially reduce their risk of being involved in a car crash related to wet pavement or other adverse weather conditions.
Two Types of Unsafe Drivers in Bad Weather Conditions
- The Overly Timid Driver: This person will drive at ridiculously low speeds and brake often causing the traffic behind the driver to back up. Drivers behind often get impatient and try and pass in more danger filled lanes, which can cause serious car accidents.
- The Reckless Unaware Driver: This person speeds along at the speed limit or higher like nothing is even remotely dangerous or out of the ordinary. This person can sometimes be seen driving an SUV or 4WD vehicle armed with the false belief that this makes them immune to sliding or skidding out of control. If the roads are slippery or slushy causing these drivers to lose control, their high speed makes them much more likely to get in a car accident.
Liability and Weather-Related Accidents
Accidents due to weather can involve you and either one of these two types of drivers. A person who is driving exceedingly slow is not necessarily driving poorly. Driving slow may serve to make a resulting auto accident less severe. It is the responsibility of all drivers to show reasonable care when driving in foul weather or any adverse road conditions.
Auto accidents related to bad weather will usually be viewed very similarly as any other auto accident. Typically, the insurance company will interpret bad weather in a way most favorable to the company’s policyholder. The adjuster will ask about the conditions, but will interpret those conditions in the light most likely to reduce the insurance company’s liability for a claim. If there were multiple vehicles involved in a car accident, and the other vehicle caused the accident, then adverse weather will not typically excuse negligent driving.
At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, our job is to protect car accident victims from being cheated out of recovering damages for their injuries or having those damages reduced based on unsubstantiated claims by the adjuster that the weather and not their policyholder was at-fault. By having us on your team, we can help determine the degree of fault in the accident and get you a settlement that you deserve for your economic loss, as well as for your pain and suffering.
Our experienced Georgia auto accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.