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Bad Weather Accidents: Who Is at Fault?

January 20, 2021
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Driving safely is all about following the rules of the road and accommodating other motorists in our midst. Many factors, however, affect safe driving, and inclement weather is a big one. Bad weather can decrease visibility, increase stopping distances, increase the risk of losing traction with the road, and much more. In other words, driving safely on a perfectly clear day with perfect driving conditions can look very different than it does when the weather is bad, and every driver is responsible for making safe choices in relation to the weather – whatever comes their way. If a motorist’s negligence leaves you injured in a weather-related accident, turn to a knowledgeable NYC car accident attorney today.

The Statistics

Bad weather seriously affects our driving and plays a significant role in traffic accidents. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) shares the following statistics for weather-related accidents:

  • In the United States, there are an average of 1,200,000 weather-related traffic accidents each year, accounting for 21 percent of total crashes.
  • An average of almost 5,000 people dies each year in weather-related accidents, and another 418,000 are injured.
  • The overwhelming majority of weather-related accidents happen when it’s raining (or are caused by wet pavement)

It’s important to note that, regardless of the weather, motorists are responsible for driving safely, including making whatever modifications need to be made in order to safely accommodate for that weather.

Negligent Drivers

When the weather turns bad, it makes driving that much more dangerous and amplifies every driver’s responsibility to proceed safely. Further, bad weather makes negligent drivers that much more dangerous. Consider the following:

  • Excess Speed – Our speed limits are set for perfect driving conditions, and motorists must adjust their speed in accordance with the condition of the roads, including conditions wrought by inclement weather. Speed plays an outsized role in fatal crashes, and when motorists fail to take the weather into consideration, they endanger themselves and others on the road.
  • Distraction – Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers in the best conditions. When the weather is bad, and a driver is distracted, it amplifies the danger involved. The fact is that wet, slippery roads require longer stopping distances, which leave little room for error, such as those caused by common distractions.
  • Impairment – Impaired drivers should not drive, but some motorists refuse to give up this extremely dangerous practice. Impairment leaves motorists less well equipped to handle the physical task of driving safely and less attuned to the dangers afoot. Because driving in bad weather requires even more precise physical reflexes, impairment and bad weather make for a terrible and terrifying combination.

Make the Call to an Experienced New York City Car Accident Attorney Today

If a driver’s inattention to the effects of bad weather leaves you injured, the acclaimed NYC car accident attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman are committed to skillfully advocating for compensation that addresses the full range of damages you’ve suffered. Our legal team is here for you, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 212-285-3300 today.


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