Drivers should exercise a higher duty of care during inclement weather conditions. Drivers are seldom excused when an accident occurs due to severe weather. Negligence principles require motorists to adapt their driving to the weather conditions. It is presumed that motorists will exercise extra caution and use good judgment to avoid accidents. Even when an accident occurs due to inclement weather, the negligent driver will be held liable for the accident. By following certain precautions, motorists can increase their chances of avoiding accidents during poor weather conditions while driving.
Drive slower. Wet road conditions account for the majority of weather-related accidents. Rainy conditions increase the risk of accidents due to slick roads. Driving slower than the speed limit is a good practice during rain, fog, and snow.
Allow greater distance. Creating more space between cars allows drivers extra time for braking and coming to a stop. The ability to have greater distance while coming to a stop will be helpful in avoiding collisions.
Allow extra time. Drivers should allow more time to reach their destination during inclement weather, this way one can drive slower and account for traffic delays. Having to rush to a destination during bad weather will only increase the risk of accidents.
Car maintenance. Motorists should service their cars and conduct regular maintenance. Before snowfall and icy conditions begin, drivers should have their car tires checked. Drivers should also have their tires rotated and change their tires to suit snow conditions. It is advisable to check the brakes, windshield wipers, and headlights to ensure they are in good working condition. Motorists should not drive vehicles that cannot handle such weather conditions.
When evaluating liability in an accident, lawyers account for weather conditions and analyze whether drivers were exercising due care. Liability lawyers determine if the driver was:
- Driving with worn tires
- Driving with worn windshield wipers
- Driving without the use of windshield wipers
- Driving without appropriate headlights
- Driving too fast for the weather conditions
- Failing to follow road signs
The driver who failed to exercise the appropriate level of caution will be found at-fault. The negligent driver will then have to pay damages to the victim of the accident.
Recovery of Damages
The injured party often has to prove the other driver’s negligence to recover damages for personal injuries, property loss, and other damages, such as loss of income. The victim of the accident must be able to show that the other driver did not exercise due care, which caused the accident. The victim must also prove that the injuries and damages suffered were caused by the accident.
Act of God Defense
It is a very rare situation where weather can be used as a defense in a car accident. Usually, if the driver can prove that no amount of care would have prevented the accident then that driver can raise the defense that an Act of God caused the accident. To qualify as an Act of God, the weather condition must be sudden, unusual, or unexpected, such as when a tornado or earthquake suddenly occurs.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Help Victims of Car Accidents Claim Compensation
If you were injured in a car accident that occurred during poor weather conditions, you may have a chance to recover damages if it can be proven that the other driver was negligent. The Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC can evaluate your case and provide legal representation. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout the surrounding areas. For a free consultation, call us at 215-569-8488 or contact us online to begin.