How Poor Weather Can Increase the Risk of a Crash

Driving is a routine part of daily life, but it carries many inherent risks. While many drivers are aware of the dangers posed by other road users, weather is often an overlooked factor that can significantly increase the likelihood of accidents. Poor weather conditions can impair visibility, make road surfaces treacherous, and generally make it harder for drivers to control their vehicles. If you experience a collision, speak with an Atlanta car accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options.

How Can Weather Conditions Lead to a Car Accident?

The weather may impact driving conditions in multiple ways. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Reduced Visibility: Fog, heavy rain, and snow can drastically reduce a driver’s ability to see other vehicles, road signs, and the road itself, increasing the risk of collisions.
  • Slippery Surfaces: Rain, ice, and snow can make road surfaces slippery, reducing tire traction and increasing stopping distances, often leading to skidding and accidents.
  • Hydroplaning: This occurs when a vehicle rides on a thin layer of water, leading to a loss of control. Hydroplaning typically happens during heavy rain and can lead to severe accidents if the driver fails to regain control.
  • High Winds: Strong winds can destabilize vehicles, particularly high-profile ones like trucks and buses, leading to difficulty steering or maintaining lane control.
  • Debris on the Road: High winds and storms can cause debris to fall onto the roadway, creating obstacles that drivers may not be able to avoid.

Who Is Liable for a Weather-Related Car Accident?

Determining liability in weather-related accidents can be complex. While inclement weather is a factor, it does not absolve drivers of their responsibility to operate their vehicles safely. Drivers are expected to adjust their driving habits to accommodate the adverse conditions, including reducing speed and maintaining a safe following distance. For instance, if a driver fails to adjust their speed during a downpour and causes an accident, they may still be held liable despite the challenging conditions.

Liability may also extend to other parties depending on the situation. For example, if poor road maintenance contributed to the accident, such as failing to clear ice or debris, maintenance crews or the government agency responsible for this task may be at fault. Additionally, if a vehicle malfunction related to design or maintenance issues played a role in the accident, the manufacturer may be at fault.

Steps to Take After a Crash Caused by Poor Weather

If you find yourself in an accident during poor weather, taking the right steps can help protect your health and your legal rights:

  • Report the Accident: Call 911 and contact the police to file a report. This document can serve as important evidence for insurance claims and potential legal actions.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if you do not feel injured, it’s wise to undergo a medical evaluation as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  • Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident, including any relevant weather conditions and damage to all vehicles involved.
  • Consult an Attorney: An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of a weather-related accident claim, ensuring you understand your rights and options for seeking compensation.

After an accident caused by severe weather conditions, Monge & Associates can fight for your rights. From conducting a reconstruction of the incident to determining the value of your settlement, our lawyers can support you every step of the way. Contact us today at (888) 477-0597 and discuss your case with an Atlanta car accident attorney.