With winter finally here, it is well known that there are many precautions that we must take, and many conditions which we must be aware of when it comes to driving. While most drivers are very aware to drive cautiously in wintery weather such as snow, sleet, and ice, what many fail to consider is another hazard entirely: snow on the roof, windshield, and windows of their car.
Though it may seem trite, several serious accidents can and do occur due to failure to remove snow from the top of vehicles. When going at high speeds, snow that has begun to melt on the roof of vehicles can easily become loose, leaving chunks of it to fly off of the back of the car. This in turn may strike the vehicle behind it, sometimes crashing through the windshield and causing dangerously obstructed views and potential injuries.
Additionally, failure to clean off your car can result in your own obstructed view, making it much more difficult to see smaller vehicles and motorcycles. That is why failure to remove snow on the roof of your vehicle can be considered as negligence, no matter how far or short of a distance that you are traveling. This can potentially result in a single or multi-vehicle crash. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a driver may be ticketed for such negligence, and ordered to pay a fine ranging from $200 all the way up to $1,000.
Drivers have a duty to use reasonable care in order to prevent harm to others. One of the concerning issues with this law is that Pennsylvania drivers do not have an absolute duty to clean off their cars; that duty is only forced on them after their failure to do so has resulted in bodily harm or injury. However, drivers always have a duty to act reasonably. So, while cleaning your car is not required, should your failure to do so result in an accident, your actions will likely be found to be unreasonable.
This is not to be taken lightly. On Christmas Day in 2005, a woman was killed after a block of ice flew off the top of the vehicle in front of her and directly into her windshield. This risk of accident and injury increases substantially as the amount/accumulation of snow grows.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to snow or ice on another driver’s vehicle, it can have a large impact on your health, your finances, and ultimately your entire life. That is why the person responsible for your injuries should be held accountable. The Allegheny County personal injury lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. help individuals throughout Pennsylvania who have suffered due to an auto collision. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 412-765-1888 today. With offices located in Pittsburgh, we represent clients throughout Western Pennsylvania, including the areas of Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County.