Rhoades & Morrow

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Wilmington 302-427-9500 Bear 302-834-8484 Milford 302-422-6705 Lewes 302-550-0155

Winter Car Accident Liability

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers discuss liability in winter car accidents. Sometimes, while driving in winter weather, a car accident can feel like it was beyond your control. In fact, it often seems impossible to avoid sliding on snow or hitting an icy spot that sends your car careening into the oncoming lane.

When a collision occurs during inclement weather, both drivers may wonder who, if anyone, is at fault. Although road conditions are usually taken into account by police and insurance companies, all drivers must drive responsibly, regardless of the weather conditions.

Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicle safely on the road. However, what is constituted as safe driving will vary, depending on weather and road conditions. For example, traveling no faster than the posted speed limit is responsible; but if the roads are snow covered, it may be necessary to travel at a slower speed.

In addition to making driving adjustments for inclement weather, drivers must maintain their vehicles to avoid breakdowns and accidents, which can have devastating consequences in the colder months.

Responsible Driving

Delaware is often subject to sever winter storms, causing heavy snowfall and coastal flooding. For those that find themselves on the road during a winter storm, it is important to drive with caution.

Responsible driving during a storm includes:

  • Slowing down, possibly below posted speed limits
  • Gently braking early in order to come to a full stop in ice or snow
  • Driving at a safe distance from the car in front
  • Using hazards and headlights
  • Safely pulling over if visibility is limited
  • Allowing others to merge onto highways and roadways

However, it may go without saying, but the best way to stay safe is to avoid driving during hazardous winter weather events if at all possible.

Winterizing Vehicles

Being a responsible driver is about more than just driving responsibly. Responsible drivers must maintain their vehicles all year long.

However, it is important to plan ahead to avoid the unique problems that winter weather can cause.

  • Keep an Eye on Temperatures: Sudden temperature drops and below-freezing weather can drain old car batteries and decrease tire pressure. Driving with low tire pressure can decrease traction.
  • Plan for Visibility: Check the integrity of wiper blades and the level of washer fluid to avoid being blinded by snow or slush. Washer fluid is the first thing to sell out in auto stores before and during a storm.
  • Winter Supplies: Keep an emergency kit, flashlights, gloves, blankets, water, road flares, and a charged cell phone in the vehicle at all times. Breaking down in colder weather, even for a few minutes, can lead to frostbite.
  • Check Anti-Freeze Levels: Anti-freeze regulates the temperature of the engine to keep it from overheating and maintains temperature to keep the engine from freezing in cold weather.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Assist Those Injured in Winter Weather Car Accidents

Even the most responsible drivers cannot prepare for what an unpredictable winter storm can bring. If you have been injured in a wintertime car accident or another type of collision, a Wilmington car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow is ready to hear your story, determine liability, and help you discover the compensation you may be entitled to. Call 302-427-9500 or complete an online form to schedule a free initial consultation. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware, including Elsmere and Seaford, with offices conveniently located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford.

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