In Rhode Island and Massachusetts snow, sleet, and ice create some of the most dangerous types of driving conditions and can contribute to a winter weather car accident. Falling snow can make it difficult to see the road ahead, while ice may be impossible to spot. However, the biggest hazard on the road is not snow, slush, or ice; but rather the drivers who are driving too fast for road conditions, driving while distracted, not paying proper attention, or driving a vehicle not equipped to handle the winter weather. While drivers cannot be held responsible for the weather, they may be liable if they did not take adequate precautions to prevent a crash in poor conditions.
Common Causes of Winter Accidents
There are several common causes that lead to winter accidents in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. These include poor road conditions, poor visibility, distracted driving, excessive speed, and car conditions.
Poor Road Conditions: Ice, Snow, Slush, Sleet, and More
As the weather gets colder, roads can become very slippery with ice and snow. Snow and ice reduce friction on the roads, which increases the risk of crashes and accidents. It is important that a driver takes care, especially when accelerating, turning, or stopping as the roads can be slippery. If a driver fails to take into account the potential dangers of the roadway, they may be liable for causing an accident.
Snow is the most common cause of poor visibility during the winter months in Rhode and Island and Massachusetts. Snowstorms, blizzard conditions, and even hail or rain can all affect visibility while driving in the winter. These weather conditions can make it difficult to see other cars, or items on the road. Once again, anyone operating a vehicle in such conditions, must do so with extreme caution and can be liable for failing to account for the poor visibility.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents and is more dangerous during the winter months when the road and weather conditions can make stopping difficult and visibility poor. If a driver is on their phone, entering directions, or even adjusting the radio; they may be liable for damages caused by a winter car accident as they failed to take proper precautions with the weather conditions.
Speeding is especially dangerous in the winter as weather conditions make it difficult to stop and control your vehicle. Winter weather should mean that a driver is typically driving below the speed limit. Excessive speed can be a key factor in determining liability.
Drivers have a duty to ensure that their vehicles are working properly. A dirty windshield, broken taillight, or worn-out brakes all increase the potential for a crash. In winter weather, tires are very important. Winter tires give drivers extra grip on the road surface, helping them maneuver better through snow and prevent swerving when driving on ice. Drivers who chooses to drive on worn or bald tires in icy conditions puts everyone around them at risk and may be liable for causing an accident.
What to do if you have been involved in winter car accident
Here are the steps you should take after a winter car accident in order to maximize your recovery:
- Call the police immediately. An accident report from a police officer will serve as evidence to support your claim for compensation.
- Exchange contact information with the other driver in the car accident. This includes the other person’s name, phone number, and insurance information. Do not discuss the crash.
- Get the names and contact information for any witnesses to the car crash.
- If possible, take photos of the accident scene, the vehicles involved in the car accident, and your injuries.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Contact a Massachusetts and Rhode Island winter car accident lawyer today
If you or a family member suffered injuries in a winter weather car accident in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, Mazzaferro Law, LLC can help you seek compensation.
Contact us today by either calling or completing our online form for a free consultation to discuss your case.