New Yorkers are no strangers to rain, ice and snow. These extreme weather conditions can affect a person in many ways, especially when they are driving on the road. These driving hazards are in play from fall to spring—potentially half of the year.
Weather-related car accidents are deadly. In fact, they kill more people than tornadoes, floods, and other weather disasters. The United States sees 5.8 million car crashes every year. Approximately 21 percent of those are contributed to by extreme weather conditions.
What Causes These Accidents?
Unfortunately, many people still insist on driving at or above the speed limit even when weather conditions make it dangerous to do so. Rain and wet pavement were the top causes of weather-related accidents, with fog and winter weather next on the list. Wet pavement accounts for 70 percent of weather-related crashes, 76 percent of weather-related fatalities, and 78 percent of weather-related injuries.
Lack of visibility is a huge factor in these accidents. Dense fog, pouring rain, snow, and sleet can quickly reduce visibility to just a few feet. Bursts of heavy snow are also deadly. Not only does snow reduce visibility, but it also makes the roads slick, often leading to massive pileups on freeways. Fog can also be fatal when a person is driving too fast and following other vehicles too closely. The good news is that only three percent of accidents happen in fog.
Ice is also treacherous, causing serious accidents all over the country. Light rain in freezing temperatures can lead to icy roads, and even the smallest amount of ice can cause a vehicle to skid across the road. This can cause a chain reaction or force a vehicle to leave the roadway. Black ice is especially dangerous, as it is usually hidden. Many motorists hit it without warning.
Am I Covered in the Event of an Accident?
Whether or not you will be covered by your insurance company if you crash in winter weather will depend on your policy and degree of fault. If you were obeying the traffic laws but were hit by someone who was driving recklessly, then you will likely not be held liable and your insurer should cover your damages.
However, if you were speeding in the rain or following a semi-truck too closely in a snowstorm, you will likely be held liable. There are also situations where your auto insurance company might not pay your claim, even if you were not at fault. For example, if you knew road conditions were unsafe but chose to drive anyway, and you were injured in an accident, your insurer may consider you negligent and refuse to pay your claim.
Contact a New York Car Accident Attorney Today
Weather conditions can cause serious car accidents. If you were involved in such a crash, you may have suffered long-term injuries. Even if weather played a role in your crash, you can receive compensation for your damages.
Whether your accident was weather-related or not, you need legal help. Manhattan car accident attorney Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C. can determine liability as well as your rights to compensation. Fill out the online form or call (212) 240-9465 to schedule a free consultation.