In winter months the weather can wreak havoc for commuters. Snow and ice can make highways slick resulting in multi-car pileups. In cities, slippery roads and side streets can cause fender benders and increase the risk of pedestrian accidents. The injuries from snow and ice accidents can vary widely including:
- Soft tissue injuries like whiplash
- Head and neck injuries
- Broken bones or fractures
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Who is at Fault in a Snow and Ice Accident?
Weather conditions do not change the fact that a driver has a duty of care to the others sharing the road. Some drivers assume that since they have no control over the weather, they assume less fault in an accident where weather conditions are a factor, but this is not true. Even if your car slides on ice and you hit another car, you can be found at fault for the accident.
No matter how much snow and ice covers the road, if you choose to go out and drive, you have a responsibility to drive safely and appropriately. By practicing the following winter driving techniques, you can minimize your risk of causing an accident and being held liable for the damages.
Winter Driving Tips
- Go slowly – If snow and ice are on the road, driving the speed limit may be too fast for the road conditions. Leave plenty of time to get to your destination safely.
- Winterize your car – Be prepared for winter conditions. Use antifreeze and check all your fluid levels and your spare tire. Get new tires if your treads are worn, or change to winter tires. Be sure to carry emergency equipment like chains, blankets, a flashlight, extra food and water, and snow gear like a shovel, snow brush, and sand for traction if you get stuck.
- Leave extra room between your car and the car in front of you – Stopping times are longer under poor road conditions, especially for larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs. The risk of being involved in a truck accident is higher during the winter months.
- Use headlights – Winter conditions mean poor visibility. Using your headlights, even during daylight hours, helps other drivers see you and illuminates the road around you.
- Use caution at intersections – As you approach an intersection be wary of cross traffic that may have trouble stopping. Intersections are often the first place where ice builds up. Slow down as you enter the intersection. Bridges, ramps, and the shaded parts of highways are also dangerous for ice build-up.
- Be careful braking – If you feel your car is sliding on ice, your first instinct may be to slam on the brakes, however on ice you will likely just send your car into a tailspin. If possible, brake gently with a pumping action to avoid losing control of the car.
Always use caution if winter weather is affecting road conditions near you. Stay off the road if you can, but if you must drive stay safe by practicing defensive driving techniques.
Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. Pursue Maximum Compensation for Accident Victims
If you have been injured in a car accident you may be entitled to compensation. Talk to a Pittsburgh car accident lawyer from AlpernSchubert P.C. about your legal options. Call 800-243-6095 to schedule a free initial consultation or contact us online. Based in Pittsburgh, we represent clients in Washington, New Castle, and all of Allegheny County, Washington County, and Lawrence County.