With hundreds of thousands of vehicles on U.S. roadways every day, it is not surprising that there is a vast number traffic accidents every year for many reasons. According to attorneys who handle personal injury claims for clients injured in car accidents, bad weather causes a large percentage of these accidents. This emphasizes the need to use safe driving habits when driving during bad weather conditions . Personal injury attorneys who help victims injured in accidents note that the chance of being involved in an accident increases when drivers do not allow for unfavorable weather conditions.
Inclement Weather Increases Accident Rates
There are more than 5.7 million traffic accidents on our nation’s roads and highways every year. This is according to a 10-year study performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that was broken down into details regarding traffic accidents and their causes. This study reported that 22 percent of all traffic accidents, or more than 1.2 million accidents, are weather-related.1 These weather-related accidents cause over 445,000 injuries and nearly 6,000 fatalities every year.1
What Is Considered Bad Driving Weather?
It is very easy to identify snow and ice as bad weather conditions that would affect driving conditions. There are many other bad weather events that could cause driving problems. Any type of weather that increases the risk of losing control of a vehicle should be considered and planned for. Lawyers who work with clients injured in auto accidents caused by ice, snow, rain, fog, high winds, and extreme heat report that these bad weather conditions affect road conditions and the way vehicles respond. Drivers must be alert to changing weather conditions and understand that weather can unexpectedly create problems, even on a day that seems normal.
Avoiding Accidents in Bad Weather
To avoid weather-related traffic accidents, personal injury attorneys suggest that drivers must be attentive to weather conditions when driving. It is critical to realize the difficulty of driving under these conditions and that vehicles may not perform as well as they do on dry, clear roads. Safe driving habits are critical under these circumstances.
Poor driving conditions can cause accidents, making it vital for drivers to slow down to account for a limited reaction time. Whether there is heavy rain, ice on the highway, or even reduced visibility, it is essential to pay attention and slow down. Distracted driving must be avoided in bad weather, as this could reduce a driver's time to react and make necessary quick decisions. When road conditions are questionable due to bad weather, a driver should use headlights as needed, brake and steer smoothly, and increase the stopping distance behind other vehicles to avoid rear-end collisions.
Accidents due to weather conditions are avoidable. Drivers must be particularly attentive and practice safe driving habits; this can reduce the chance of being involved in a weather-related crash. Injury attorneys agree that the best way to arrive safely under poor weather conditions is to slow down, be observant, and get off the road if necessary!
Hildebrand & Wilson, Attorneys at Law
7930 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
1U.S. DOT, Federal Highway Administration - Road Weather Management Program: "How Do Weather Events Impact Roads?