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Winter Weather Liability

What happens when winter weather becomes a factor in your recent car accident? Pennsylvanians should be aware that in the past, Pennsylvania ranked in the top five states for the most fatal car accidents during winter weather conditions. Between 2011 and 2015, according to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Pennsylvania averaged about 65 fatal car accidents during the winter months, ranking as number three in the nation. Additionally, the NHTSA stated that the top causes of winter motor vehicle accidents included:

  • Snow left on a vehicle that flies off and hits another vehicle
  • Improper vehicle maintenance, such as worn tires, worn windshield wipers, and inadequate defroster fans
  • Slippery surfaces caused by black ice that is difficult to see
  • Poor visibility due to heavy snowfall, sleet, rain, or fog

Drivers should not be on the road if there is a travel ban. This will be taken into account when determining fault for a car accident. If you must drive on the road for any reason, some tips for winter driving include:

  • Making sure that your vehicle is prepared for winter driving. This includes having antifreeze, extra gasoline, and blankets in the car, in addition to replacing wipers and tires when necessary.
  • If the road appears wet, it could be black ice, so drive slowly and with caution.
  • Beware of bridges and ramps, which freeze faster than roadways.
  • Do not start or stop suddenly.
  • Leave extra space between you and the car ahead of you.
  • Take it slow, only go as fast as you can maintain control of the vehicle.

Some of the common types of negligent driving during the winter months can be attributed to:

  • Completing unsafe maneuvers
  • Driving without headlights on when visibility is poor
  • Negligence of others on the road, such as cyclists and pedestrians
  • Driving at higher speeds than what is safe for weather conditions

Some people may drive too quickly on roadways because they have four-wheel drive. Police may issue tickets at their own discretion when weather is not favorable, therefore, even if drivers were driving under the posted speed limit, if it was too fast for the weather conditions, they may still receive a ticket for unsafe driving. This would be a factor in assigning fault for a car accident.

Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. Assist Victims of Winter Weather Car Accidents

If you experienced a car accident involving winter weather conditions, the Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. can review your case and help you with the next best steps. We will determine what factors, including weather, contributed to your accident. Located in Pittsburgh, we serve clients throughout western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County. For a free consultation, call us at 412-765-1888 or contact us online today.