If you have been behind the wheel during bad weather, you most likely know how difficult it can become to focus on the road and control your vehicle. Therefore, your risk of getting into a collision or running off the road increases, whether it is foggy, raining, snowing, or hailing outside. When an individual is involved in a car accident during inclement weather, this often causes them to wonder how their car accident claim may be affected.
While you may think that this does not matter much, the truth is that insurance companies, judges, and jurors will consider the weather on the day of your accident when evaluating your case’s facts. The personal injury team at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, can help when injured in a car accident.
How Stormy or Inclement Weather Causes Car Accidents
Operating a car in snow, wind, rain, ice, or hail is one of the most challenging obstacles a driver may face. The Federal Highway Administration recently released its findings from 2006 to 2017, where they found that there were over 1 million motor vehicle accidents each year in the United States due to severe weather conditions. This number accounts for 21 percent of total accidents across the country.
There are various reasons why stormy or inclement weather causes car accidents, including:
- Slippery roads: When the roads are wet, snowy, or icy, they can quickly become slippery. If the driver is not careful, they may run off the road or collide with another vehicle, ensuring your tires are suitable for inclement weather is important.
- Visibility issues: One of the most common problems drivers face during stormy or inclement weather is the visibility which typically happens when the rain or snow covers the windshield and the roads, which makes it extremely challenging for drivers to see other vehicles, the road, traffic lights, signs, and lane lines. When this happens, their chances of being involved in an accident drastically increase.
- Hydroplaning: Hydroplaning is one of the most frightening experiences that drivers may face, and it typically happens when standing water is on the roads, and the tires lose traction. This means that the tires cannot grip the road, which can easily cause the vehicle to lose control.
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The Types of Injuries that Car Accident Victims Often Suffer During Bad Weather
Individuals often suffer severe and sudden injuries when a car accident happens in bad weather conditions. Some of the most common injuries that they experience are:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken or fractured bones
- Skull or head injuries
- Concussions, contusions, and other traumatic brain injuries
- Road burns
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
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How the Weather May Change or Impact Your Car Accident Claim
No matter what type of weather your area is experiencing, every driver on the road is expected to uphold their duty of care. This means that they must take the necessary precautions to keep other individuals and drivers safe and harm-free while driving. If they fail to do this, they are considered to be negligent.
Therefore, if you believe your accident occurred due to someone’s negligent behavior, contact a car accident attorney at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC for assistance. Our team will review your claim’s facts, collect the proper evidence, and build a strong case against the defendant.
We believe that all drivers should take extra steps to prevent an accident from occurring, even when driving in difficult weather conditions. That said, we will do everything we can to prove negligence. Here are some of the things we may look for to prove this:
- Driving over the speed limit or at a speed too high for the weather conditions
- Looking at their cell phone or other objects in the car
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving a poorly maintained vehicle
- Driving a car with worn-out or bare tires
- Driving a car with no windshield wipers
- Driving with no lights on
- Not giving enough space or distance between vehicles
- Reckless or careless driving
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Tips for Driving in Bad Weather Conditions in Tennessee
You are responsible for driving your car safely when you get behind the wheel. That said, you are expected to follow all traffic rules and prevent accidents from occurring. This means that when a storm emerges, it is your legal duty to drive as carefully as possible and take the proper precautions to avoid causing an accident.
Most people reduce their speed, turn on their windshield wipers, ensure both hands are on the steering wheel, and give enough space between their vehicles and other vehicles. You must use your judgment to decide what to do when it starts to downpour, hail, or snow. However, when situations like this arise, the posted speed limit is likely too fast for the weather conditions.
The following are seven tips for driving in bad weather conditions in Tennessee:
- Drive slowly and carefully.
- Be prepared to accelerate and brake often.
- Give other vehicles enough space and distance.
- Do not rush. Making it somewhere on time is not worth causing an accident.
- Do not use cruise control.
- Always ensure your car is up to date and prepared to handle any type of weather.
- If you become uncomfortable, pull over and wait for the bad weather to stop or pass over.
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The Car Accident Lawyers at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC Are Here to Help You
If you have recently been involved in a car accident during severe weather conditions, you most likely have questions and concerns regarding your car accident claim. The attorneys at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC know that these types of accidents can be confusing, so we are here to help you understand everything happening with your case.
Contact our team to begin discussing your case as soon as possible. We know the laws surrounding these issues and will work hard to collect evidence proving that the defendant was negligent during your weather-related accident.