The streets of New York City can be difficult to navigate safely even on a clear and sunny day. Throw bad weather into the mix, such as rain, snow or sleet and such adverse weather conditions can create havoc on New York City roadways, resulting in multiple car accidents, where liability can be difficult to determine. Bad weather results in decreased visibility and slick road conditions creating challenges for even the most experienced of drivers.
NYC Car Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, approximately 21% of the car accidents that occur annually are due to weather-related issues. Driving while it is snowing out is dangerous for numerous reasons and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. For starters, being on the road in hazardous winter weather places you and other vehicle occupants at risk of a crash. Additionally, driving during storms such as a blizzard reduces the ability of clean-up crews from clearing the streets and also may prevent emergency vehicles from getting injured people to the hospital.
Insurance companies know that sometimes the weather and resulting road conditions may take control of the vehicle out of your hands. However, the responsibility for any accident will rest upon someone. If you decide to get behind the wheel of your car in bad weather conditions, you implicitly are accepting responsibility for what happens while you are driving. Always consider the potential dangers on the road from ice, snow and winter weather before driving. If you’re uncomfortable driving to your destination, it’s best to stay put or use mass transit.
Determining Liability for Car Accidents in Bad Weather
If you’re involved in an auto accident due to bad weather, you cannot sue the weatherman or mother nature, so who is liable? If another driver was not driving prudently given the road conditions and inclemency, then that driver may be held accountable for the car accident. Drivers should reduce their speed regardless of the speed limit when the weather conditions are hazardous.