According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Road Weather Management System, 25 percent of all auto accidents (over 1.5 million) each year are caused by inclement weather. Weather-related accidents also account for over 20 percent of all vehicle-related injuries and 17 percent of all fatalities.
Consulting a Clayton County attorney after a car accident enhances a victim's ability to receive a reasonable settlement. If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Clayton County you should discuss your case with a car accident attorney at the Law Offices of Shane Smith.
While we have written in this blog before about the danger posed by driving in poor weather conditions, this recent tragedy reveals that even knowledge of the risk of being involved in a weather-related crash will not necessarily prevent a serious car accident. A report by
The DOT identifies the following relationships between inclement weather and poor driving conditions:
- Rain: Besides the obvious wet conditions, rain can also cause fluids that have leaked from vehicles to come to roadway surfaces after long periods without precipitation. This creates an additional slippery hazard. Puddles may accumulate if roads are not properly engineered or if they have infrastructure deficiencies. Heavy rain can limit visibility. This can cause hydroplaning, where tires do not maintain contact with the pavement.
- Snow or Frost: Black ice may coat the roadway causing tires to slide and vehicles to lose control. Black ice is virtually transparent and drivers frequently do not identify it until they are upon it.
- Wind: Wind gusts can blow dust and debris thus limiting visibility. Drivers may overcompensate when debris flies into their lane, swerving unexpectedly into another lane to avoid striking the blowing objects.
Drivers are expected to compensate for inclement weather and adverse driving conditions. This frequently means driving slower than the speed limit and allowing more stopping distance behind other vehicles. Drivers who do not make such adjustments may be found negligent for damage and injuries. Drivers who would not have been considered negligent or driving recklessly under ordinary driving conditions may be found negligent for not driving more cautiously in inclement weather.
If you or someone you know has been hurt in an auto accident, meet with a Clayton County auto accident lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation at (770)487-8999.