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Car Accidents and Cold Weather

September 17, 2018

Woman driving car on snowy road

Every year, more than 100,000 Americans are involved in a car accident involving snow, ice, or slush. Even more concerning is that 1,300 are killed in these same conditions as well. Unfortunately, Mother Nature can be cruel, making driving in winter far more challenging than at any other time of the year. While salt trucks can go a long way in making sure a road is as safe as possible, the driver must take full responsibility for their safety on the road – regardless of how challenging those conditions may be.

Who is At Fault in a Winter Accident?

You can’t take Mother Nature to court, even if you believe she was at fault. Unfortunately, winter conditions heighten the risk on the road, but they do not take the blame if you were to have an accident. In the court of law, drivers take full responsibility for being able to keep their car on the road – even if it may have been nearly impossible at the time.

Even if you hire a Denver car accident attorney, you are still at fault in an accident if your car was the one to lose control. It is up to each driver to drive to the conditions and navigate wintry roads safely. However, if you want to know more about how best to approach a car accident trial, consult an accident lawyer.

What Do You Do If You Have a Car Accident Caused by Wintry Conditions?

If Mother Nature has caused you to spin out of control, run off the road, not see other vehicles, or slip and slide your way into another vehicle on the road, you are at fault. You will not be able to send a summons to Mother Nature. As a result, when you or someone else causes a car accident in wintry conditions, it takes on the same process as any other car accident.

You will need to call the police, establish any injuries, talk to witnesses, and document the scene as best as you can. You then must call a lawyer before talking to any insurance companies. They can help guide you through the process. If you are to blame, your insurance company may have to pay damages, lost wages, medical expenses, and more to the other party if decided by a court of law.

And, if you are the victim, the other insurance company and driver may have to pay you. This would be the case in most regular car accident cases and is no different even though poor driving conditions and visibility caused the accident.

How Can You Avoid Car Accidents in Winter?

The last thing anyone wants to be doing is getting in touch with their lawyer in Colorado – unless it’s a social call, of course! However, the risk of an accident in winter can be significantly higher for an individual – particularly if you are not familiar with the area or the conditions. You can drive safer and reduce the risk of an accident by:

  • Using anti-freeze fluid in your vehicle
  • Staying at home if the driving conditions are too dangerous
  • Making sure all your windows and mirrors are clear
  • Using snow chains or switching to snow tires
  • Driving slower and to the conditions
  • Maintain a safe following distance
  • Using your headlights to stay visible to others on the road

Car accidents are an unfortunate part of the cold weather, but it’s important to understand that the court of law treats them like any other incident. Practice safe driving and reduce your risk of ending up in court or becoming a statistic.