Posted on February 4, 2018
With snow falling across Pennsylvania today, many areas have been announcing road closures and accidents. In certain areas, PennDOT has also issued speed restrictions.
So far, we know this: All lanes are closed on Route 225 headed toward Harrisburg in both directions due to a crash on Peters Mountain. In another instance, I-81 was closed but has been reduced to a lane restriction due to a multi-vehicle crash occurring around 12:30 PM. Other crashes, some by themselves and others involving multiple vehicles, have occurred on PA Route 74 in Cumberland County, Exit 47B to PA Route 34, and I-83 in York County. In an accident on I-81, it has even been reported that a tractor-trailer jackknifed and blocked both lanes.
With the weather causing adverse road conditions, many drivers must watch their speed as well as be wary of other drivers, ensuring that they stay back far enough and never speed when the roads are icy or covered in snow.
Did you know that about 70% of the nation’s roads are located in snowy regions that receive over 5 inches of snowfall per year? Snow and ice conditions on the roadways reduce friction on the pavement and cause vehicles to have much lower maneuverability as well as cause slower speeds and increase the risk of accidents. About 24% of weather-related vehicle accidents happen on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement and 15% happen when snow is falling down. Snow-related crashes claim the lives of approximately 1,300 people every single year, showing us that there is a need for better road safety when it comes to these conditions.
When it comes to determining liability in these accidents, one of the first aspects considered is not just the weather present at the time of the accident – it was negligence of another driver. All drivers owe drivers on the roads a standard duty of care to keep them from harm given the circumstances. This means that, if somebody was driving recklessly on roads covered in snow, they could be held liable if an accident resulted.
But what is considered reasonable when snow is falling? In normal weather conditions, a driver is expected to drive the normal posted speed limit on the highways. However, snow, ice, and slick pavement impairs people’s ability to apply their brakes and would be reason for many drivers to slow their vehicles significantly. There are many other reasons why somebody may be driving recklessly that could have led to the accident. Perhaps, while snow was building up on the roadways, the driver was also driving drunk or fiddling with their radio stations.
When moving forward, it helps to be able to determine liability in your car accident. At Edelstein Martin & Nelson, put the power in our hands to help you move forward with your case and gain the courage to work toward the compensation you deserve. If you have been involved in an accident due to bad weather conditions and believe another party is liable for your injuries, speak to us as soon as possible. Call us at 888-208-1810.