As we all know, inclement weather can create dangerous conditions on the road, causing thousands of car accidents in Texas every year. A motor vehicle crash happens on Texas roads about once every minute. But did you know that more than 10%, nearly 60,000 crashes, are due to poor weather and road conditions? Rain, snow, ice, fog, sleet, wind, and other extreme Texas weather conditions, such as tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes, and electrical storms, increase the risks of weather related accidents.
At McKinney Vos, we understand the devastating consequences of accidents due to weather conditions. Our experienced attorneys, Jessica McKinney and Bailey Vos, are here to help you through the sometimes confusing legal process and get the compensation you deserve.
In this blog post, McKinney Vos will help you understand who is at-fault for weather related accidents and how you can reduce your chances of accidents due to weather conditions.
There are almost an endless number of causes for auto accidents in bad weather, but some of the most common causes include the following:
Bad weather can significantly reduce visibility on the road, making it difficult for drivers to spot other vehicles, pedestrians, and obstacles. Fog, heavy rain, and snowstorms are among some of the dangerous weather conditions that can reduce visibility on Texas roads.
Wet or icy roads can reduce traction and increase the risk of losing control of your vehicle. You might be especially prone to spin outs if your vehicle has worn-out tires or inadequate tire tread. In Texas, icy weather conditions are rare and many drivers are not equipped or prepared to drive safely in them. Without trucks salting the roads and clearing them regularly, this poses a threat for drivers during inclement weather.
Hydroplaning happens when a layer of water accumulates on the road, causing your tires to lose contact with the road surface. This can cause your car to slide and spin out of control, causing serious damage to your vehicle and occasionally devastating injuries to you.
Wet or icy roads can increase the distance it takes to bring your vehicle to a complete stop. When road conditions cause your vehicle to take longer to come to a complete stop, it can result in rear-end collisions, causing whiplash, brain injuries, and back sprains, among other injuries.
Inclement weather can cause debris to fall on the road, including downed branches, rocks, power lines, and other objects. These objects can damage your vehicle if you hit them or cause you to lose control.
In most cases, determining liability in auto accidents caused by inclement weather can be a challenging task. In general, drivers are responsible for maintaining a safe speed and following Texas traffic laws, even in bad weather conditions.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if a driver is speeding in icy conditions and causes an accident, they may be at fault and found liable for the accident. Additionally, car owners can be held responsible if they have failed to maintain the safety of their vehicle with regular maintenance, updated and filled tires, or any other mechanical matters that could result in failure and cause an accident.
Property owners are also responsible for maintaining their premises and ensuring that they are safe for drivers and pedestrians. If a property owner fails to remove debris or ice from the road, for example, they may be held liable for an accident caused by that debris.
While some auto accidents due to weather conditions are unavoidable, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of getting into an accident.
Reducing your speed is probably the most effective way to reduce your risk of getting into an accident in bad weather conditions. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and adjust your speed accordingly.
Regular vehicle maintenance can help make sure that your car is safe to drive in all weather conditions. Make sure you regularly check your tires, brakes, and windshield wipers for wear and tear.
Staying a safe distance away from the traffic in front of you can give you more time to react to unexpected situations on the road. In bad weather conditions, it's a good rule of thumb to double your following distance from the next car ahead of you
Avoid sudden maneuvers, such as sudden braking or turning, which can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, especially in icy or rainy conditions. Make sure to signal well in advance before turning or changing lanes.
Stay alert and keep your eyes focused on the road at all times. Avoid distractions, such as texting, talking on the phone, putting on makeup, or eating, while driving. Keep your attention on the road and be prepared to react to the unexpected.
Auto accidents due to weather conditions can have serious consequences, including fatalities, serious injuries, and property damage. While some accidents are unavoidable, it's important to take steps to reduce your risk of getting into an accident in bad weather conditions.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident caused by inclement weather, don't hesitate to get in touch with McKinney Vos. Our experienced attorneys can help you through this difficult time and get you the compensation you deserve for an auto accident due to weather conditions.
Contact us today to schedule your free case consultation with our at-fault accident lawyers.