To what extent can environmental factors be blamed for car accidents?
Environmental factors are the unavoidable challenges we face while driving. In some cases, we can anticipate them. For example, you may be aware of the same pothole, curve, or construction zone that you encounter on your daily commute. You may also be aware of the weather forecast and prepare yourself by allowing extra commuting time.
In many other cases, environmental factors come as a surprise. They may include:
- Sudden traffic jams
- New potholes
- Downed trees
- Unexpected weather conditions
- Road debris
How can weather conditions contribute to car accidents in West Virginia and Ohio?
Let's start by saying that we can't blame crashes on the weather, whether it be heavy rain or snow. When crashes occur during adverse weather conditions, it's usually because drivers were not traveling at speeds that are safe and reasonable.
Weather can affect driving safety in the following ways, according to U.S. Department of Transportation:
- Wind speed can affect vehicle stability and blow debris or snow into the road.
- Wet pavement can affect traction and increase stopping time and distance.
- Fog can shorten distance of visibility.
- Water level from precipitation can lead to puddles and increase the risk of hydroplaning.
Weather conditions are a factor in about 21 percent of all crashes each year across the United States. Roughly 70 percent involve wet pavement and 46 percent involve rain.
What is the real cause of car accidents?
When conditions aren't favorable, crashes are usually caused by drivers who exceed the speed limit, drive too fast for conditions, drive aggressively, or drive while distracted.
While drivers can't always avoid inclement weather conditions or other environmental factors, they can control the way they handle them.
Why should I hire an attorney if I was involved in a crash?
In the event you are involved in a crash, the at-fault driver's insurance company may attempt to argue that the weather or road conditions caused the crash. Therefore, the driver they represent isn't at fault. They may even try to find a way to pin the blame on you.
Don't fall for their tricks. Instead, speak to an experienced car accident attorney who can investigate your crash, gather evidence to support your claim, and deal with the insurance companies on your behalf.
The legal team at Recht Law Offices has been handling complex cases like yours since 1952. Our firm represents clients in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. To find out how we can help you, contact us online or call our Weirton, WV office at (877) 321-RECHT. Our case evaluations are free and confidential.