Law firms like Ross Ziev P.C. come across different types of injury cases often, including auto accidents. One of the most prominent aspects that pop up are weather and road conditions, especially where Ross works, Denver, CO. While there are various types of root causes that cause car and truck accidents, Mother Nature and bad roads stand at the base of more than many people realize.
Road Accident Statistics Due to Weather and Road Conditions
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 5.8 million road accidents happen every year. Of that number, 21 percent are related to inclement weather conditions. Things like low visibility and wet or slick roads commonly contribute to what eventually results in an accident.
Existing terrain is not necessarily considered the main “suspect”, but can be a factor when bad weather and roads come into the mix. For example, a flat road covered in ice is a bit different than a curvy passage that is covered in ice.
What’s Worse: Rain or Snow?
It may shock some people to learn that rain actually causes more road accidents than snow. Seventy percent of the U.S. road network actually exists in places that get at least five inches of snow each year. While 24 percent of road accidents happen in these regions, the snow actually provides some natural assistance that prevents these statistics from being higher.
Snow and ice accumulation actually help reduce road-to-car friction and hamper vehicle maneuverability, according to the DOT. Additionally, people tend to instinctively slow down when driving in this type of weather. While accidents and resulting fatalities do still occur, the instances are much higher when it rains.
The Rain Factor
Most weather-based accidents actually happen when it’s raining. Impaired visibility and wet roads are major factors, particularly the wet road conditions that account for 70 percent of these accidents (impacted vision due to rainfall is 46 percent). Drivers also don’t heed rainfall with a weariness like they do when it’s snowing. It’s interesting because rain is much more dangerous when driving.
Depending on where a person lives, road conditions can easily fall prey to the weather, increasing the likelihood of an accident. A snowy road in Colorado is likely to have the infrastructure to withstand the weather than a snowy road in Texas, where snow is less common.
Any driver who sets out on the open road should always drive a bit more carefully when there is inclement weather. A person can’t always prevent an accident, but they can do their best to avoid getting into one. However, if an accident happens when the weather is bad, drivers and their passengers should contact an auto injury attorney right away. That’s not just a general suggestion. Your personal injury lawyer will be instrumental in helping you determine fault. Weather can increase the chance for accidents, yes, but negligence is something that can exist in all weather patterns. If someone else made poor decisions with disregard for themselves or others while out on a foggy highway, rain-slicked road, or ice-coated mountain pass, then defending yourself legally is a highly recommended path.