According to the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA), approximately 22% of car accidents that occur each year are due to weather-related circumstances. Weather-related accidents mean crashes that occur in adverse weather conditions such as rain, sleet, snow, fog and heavy winds or on slick pavement due to the weather (wet pavement, slushy pavement or icy pavement. Out of this 22 % of all weather-related accidents, 73% of them involve wet pavement, and 46% of them occur when it is raining outside. In the winter, 17% of are due to snow or sleet, 13% are from icy pavement and 14% are from slushy pavement.
There are several reasons as to why inclement weather causes many accidents:
- Less capacity on roadways either by flooding or from debris on the road such as snow accumulation
- Electrical issues causing traffic signal failure
- Speed reductions due to poor visibility during precipitation such as snow and rain
- Road conditions from erosion
In 2014, there were 1,258,978 car crashes due to weather-related reasons leading to 445,303 people injured and 5,897 people killed.
Anyone who takes the road during hazardous weather conditions is under the obligation to drive cautiously the same as if they would be driving under great weather conditions. If a person is driving needlessly reckless or negligent and causes an accident then they are responsible regardless of the weather conditions.
Insurance defense will claim that the weather conditions were an “Act of God” and therefore it is not the liability of the driver. In order for that to be accurate, the “Act of God” has to be the only thing that causes the accident. A lot of the times this is not the case. As the “Act of God” exacerbates the reckless driving or negligence making an accident more likely to occur.
If you’ve been in a car accident because of bad weather and have been injured or a loved one suffered from wrongful death then contact one of our car accident attorneys. We will work with you to make sure you get the compensation you deserve while you recover from your injury.