Who’s Liable in Bad Weather Driving?

Even Atlanta with its mild winters still sees its share of car accidents during these chilly months. When it comes to legal matters in an auto accident though, do you know who may be liable, and why?

A Driver Ought to Use “Reasonable Care” During Bad Weather Conditions

Drivers must practice a great deal of awareness and attentiveness when driving on slippery roads. Examples of not displaying proper driving caution include:

Speeding – The faster you go on icy roads, the more difficult it will be for you to stop your vehicle without hitting someone.

Failure to allow distance between cars – Even if you’re going slowly, you should still keep a few-car-length-distance between you and the car in front of you. Since the road is icy/snowy, it’s unpredictable, and the closer you are to the car ahead of you, the more likely you are to rear-end them.

Equal Liability Among Drivers

When snow and ice are on the ground, drivers obviously don’t have the best reaction time to respond to different situations, thus resulting in accidents. Even when drivers maintain a slow speed and are very cautious, somehow many still end up in mishaps.  Cars often slide into one another on snowy streets; both from the rear, as well as the front – or from side swipes when cars spin-out.

The bottom line is that when two or more cars are sliding on icy roads, it is practically impossible to claim that one is more liable than the other.  While attorneys from both parties will try to show that the other driver was not using reasonable care for the driving conditions, the jury may determine that the weather was to blame, rather than either person behind the wheel.

Road Maintenance

Different establishments all have varied responsibilities for keeping the asphalt on which vehicles drive, clear and safe – especially in poor weather conditions. A diligent effort must be made by these establishments to clear snow as it falls, and to pour salt or sand on the asphalt to lessen the hazards for drivers. These establishments include:

  • States
  • Counties
  • Cities
  • Businesses

Failure to keep that responsibility can result in liability for accidents, falling on the parties responsible for maintaining that piece of property.

If you’ve been involved in a winter weather car accident, and are interested in filing a claim, don’t hesitate to contact Bruce A. Hagen, you’re premier auto accident attorney in Atlanta!