Suppose your car slides due to icy road conditions and crashes into a fence, doing damage to both the vehicle and the fence. Who is liable? Chances are: you.
Who is Liable?
The main concern in deciding liability is determining negligence. If the driver was not acting reasonably, this can be considered negligence. There are many reasons an insurance company might argue that the driver was not acting reasonably. It’s reasonable to drive the speed limit when the roads are clear, but a driver will be reasonably expected to drive more slowly in rain or snow.
Ultimately, while most insurance providers will acknowledge that road conditions attributed to the driver’s accident, it remains the driver’s responsibility to take the proper precautions when driving in poor weather conditions.
So how do you avoid potential insurance increases due to a bad-weather accident? Prepare for bad weather driving by following these tips.
- Winterize your car. Make sure you use anti-freeze windshield wiper fluid. Check your car’s battery and tire pressure regularly, as these can both be affected by cold temperatures. If you are in a particularly snowy area, consider using snow tires or keeping tire chains in your car.
- Clean headlights, windshields, and mirrors before you drive anywhere. Allow your windows to defrost completely before moving the vehicle. It is better to be a little late than to not arrive at all.
- Drive slowly. Allow extra time for your drive and allow extra space between you and the cars in front of you. Be especially careful on bridges and overpasses, as these areas tend to be icier than the surrounding roads.
- Keep an emergency kit in your car, just in case. Make sure the emergency kit includes flashlights, phone chargers, a first-aid kit, blankets, and water. If you become stranded, you will want these provisions available.
- Don’t drive distracted under any circumstances. The text message can wait. Using a phone while driving is dangerous under any road conditions, but poor weather can make it even more so.
According to weather.com, weather-related car accidents kill more people annually than natural disasters. Weather-related car accidents account for 22% of all car accidents. Take care to drive safely this winter. For more information about liability in a weather-related accident, or for affordable, superior legal representation, contact LeBaron & Jensen today.