When most people think of dangerous weather, they think of hurricanes, tornadoes, and catastrophic floods. Many people don’t realize that winter weather auto accidents kill more people in the United States each year than any other weather hazard…
Winter weather auto accidents in Myrtle Beach, SC are not the ever-present danger that they might be in colder, northern states. But, when winter weather strikes the Grand Strand, it can be more dangerous than the cold winter states because:
- SC residents are not used to dangerous cold weather conditions and may not have the skills or experience to drive safely in cold weather;
- Most vehicles in SC are not equipped with cold weather gear like snow tires, and it’s not efficient to buy cold weather equipment that you may only need a few weeks out of the year; and
- Local governments in SC do not keep enough cold weather equipment on hand like snow plows and equipment to salt the roads quickly. It’s just not efficient to keep a fleet of snow plows on hand that may or not be needed a few weeks out of the year.
Below, I will discuss the types of road hazards that may cause winter weather auto accidents in Myrtle Beach, how to determine who is at fault in a winter weather auto accident, and how to avoid winter weather auto accidents.
Can I Sue After a Winter Weather Auto Accident?
The other driver hit the brakes as he approached the intersection, but then slid right through the red light and crashed into your car – that’s not really their fault, right? I mean, they tried to brake like they were supposed to, right?
Hazardous weather conditions may contribute to an auto accident, but it is still the driver’s responsibility to drive safely in any conditions. When winter weather causes dangerous conditions on the road, drivers must take extra precautions.
Is it your fault that the other driver slid through the intersection and crashed into your car?
Road Hazards Caused by Winter Weather
When winter weather strikes, drivers must take extra precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and other motorists. Winter weather auto accidents in Myrtle Beach can be caused by:
- Icy roads;
- Black ice;
- Limited visibility from icy windshields;
- Careless driving; or
- Improper equipment.
Most SC drivers do not switch to snow tires in the winter months – it just doesn’t make sense to spend time and money on snow tires when you may or may not have snow for a few days or weeks each year.
But, people still have to get from point A to point B – although it is certainly safer to stay home until weather conditions improve, people are going to be on the roads trying to get to work, buying groceries, or traveling to wherever they need to be.
Who is at Fault in a Winter Weather Auto Accident?
Negligence in a winter weather auto accident is the same as negligence on a sunny summer day.
If a driver does not use due care to ensure the safety of other motorists, bicyclists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians, and someone is hurt because they did not exercise due care, they are responsible for the damage that they cause.
Evidence of a driver’s negligence in a winter weather auto accident may include:
- Distracted driving;
- Driving too fast for conditions, even if they are within the speed limit;
- Braking suddenly on icy roads;
- Making turns at speeds too fast for icy conditions; or
- Violation of any traffic laws.
Both drivers may be driving under the speed limit, staying within their lane, and following traffic signals. But, if Driver A slides into an intersection and crashes into Driver B who had the right-of-way, Driver A is at fault despite the icy road that caused Driver A to begin sliding.
When you know that there may be ice on the roads, you know that ice can cause your car to slide, and you do not take precautions to prevent your car from sliding, the accident is your fault.
How Can You Avoid Winter Weather Auto Accidents?
How do you avoid winter weather auto accidents?
Be prepared. When you know winter weather is coming, get ready for it:
- Use windshield fluid with an antifreeze to keep your windshield clear;
- Completely defrost your windshield before driving your car;
- Keep your windows, headlights, and mirrors clean;
- Check your tires and make sure they are not balding;
- Switch to snow tires whenever possible;
- Carry tire chains to use when necessary;
- Drive slowly;
- Do not brake unnecessarily or while turning;
- Leave plenty of room between yourself and other cars; and
- When it’s not safe to drive, stay off the road.
Although winter weather conditions may only become an issue in Myrtle Beach SC for a few weeks or months a year, if at all, when winter weather does strike it can be catastrophic. Be safe, drive smart, and take precautions to avoid accidents, injuries, and deaths before they happen.
If you are hurt in a car wreck this winter because another driver was careless on icy roads, your SC auto accident lawyer on the Axelrod team will help you to investigate the crash, gather the evidence you will need to prove your case, and get full and fair compensation from the other driver or their insurance company.
Call Axelrod and Associates now at (843) 916-9300 or send us a message online to talk with a Myrtle Beach winter weather auto accident attorney today.