Icy Road Accidents and Winter Tire Litigation in Arizona: A New Frontier for Liability?

As Arizona continues to experience unusually cold winters, icy roads are becoming an increasing danger. This has led to a rise in traffic accidents related to slick roads and discussion around the potential for litigation against negligent drivers and tire manufacturers. This article will explore some of the key issues around liability for wintertime crashes in the context of Arizona laws and courts.

Duty of Care for Arizona Drivers

All drivers have a duty of care on public roads to operate their vehicles safely. This includes adjusting their driving style appropriately for the weather and road conditions. Failure to use proper caution could be considered negligence if an accident occurs. However, Arizona is generally viewed as a comparative negligence state. This means that liability and compensation are reduced to the degree the injured party was also negligent.

Potential Tire Litigation

If a car crash occurs due to loss of traction and control on ice, investigators will look into whether inappropriate tires played a role. All-season tires can lose up to 50% of traction in winter conditions compared to snow tires. This has already led to lawsuits in other states against manufacturers for unsafe all-season tires in winter climates. As Arizona deals with more ice storms, similar litigation may arise if faulty tire traction contributes to an accident.

County and State Road Maintenance Responsibilities

Government agencies in charge of road maintenance also have a responsibility to make roads as safe as possible during winter weather. This includes pre-emptively salting and plowing high-traffic areas. Lawsuits could develop if a lack of preventative treatment is found to have caused excess icing leading to crashes. However, state and county road agencies often have at least limited legal immunity protecting them from liability claims.

A Developing Legal Landscape

The combination of population growth and climate change is bringing uncertainty around driving safety obligations in Arizona winters. This is especially true given the lack of historical legal precedent. As serious accidents mount and claims get brought to court, important binding case law will develop, setting expectations for all involved parties. This makes early litigation very impactful for establishing fault duties moving forward.

Get Legal Advice After an Icy Road Crash

If you’ve been injured in a winter traffic collision caused fully or partially by negligence, contact our attorneys at Monge & Associates for a free case review. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can investigate fault, build strong arguments around breach of duties, and fight for maximum compensation in or out of court. Don’t assume an accident was unavoidable just because it happened on icy asphalt – you may have solid legal grounds to pursue financial damages against reckless entities.

With offices in 32 locations across 19 states, including Arizona, Utah, and Colorado, we are well-placed to help with car accidents caused by bad weather conditions.

Call our team today on (888) 477-0597 for free, trusted advice on your options and the levels of compensation other victims have received.