Icy roads cause car accidents for several reasons, primarily because a vehicle’s tires may struggle to maintain traction with slick road surfaces. During winter driving, it may also be difficult to spot invisible ice patches, which is known as black ice.
Driving on icy roads requires especially careful attention from road users. If another driver’s negligent driving under adverse conditions led to your accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses.
Winter Driving Conditions Pose Many Hazards
Icy roads make it difficult for drivers to maintain control over their vehicles. Basic driving actions such as making a turn, a lane change, braking, and accelerating can all become more dangerous tasks when a vehicle does not have sufficient contact with a road surface.
Icy surfaces are only one significant hazard caused by winter weather, however. Poor visibility, vehicle maintenance problems, and limited braking performance can contribute to winter driving challenges.
Longer Braking Distances on Icy Roads
In order for your tires to function properly, they must be able to gain traction with the underlying road surface. Because tire traction on icy roads is typically poor, drivers can expect that it will take longer to come to a full stop when the brakes are applied.
According to AAA, drivers should increase their following distance from the three to four seconds recommended on dry pavement to eight to ten seconds when on icy roads. If a driver follows another vehicle too closely on icy roads and must come to a sudden stop, they may crash into the vehicle in front of them.
Mechanical Issues Can Lead to Major Problems During Cold Weather
According to AAA, winter conditions create serious challenges to the proper functioning of a vehicle. If maintenance issues are left unchecked before drivers head out on icy roads, the driver may be more susceptible to causing a crash.
The following maintenance issues can lead to winter driving accidents:
- Lights. Visibility is key during adverse weather conditions, such as snow and ice. It is important that drivers maintain functioning lights that are clear of grime and debris.
- Brakes. Because braking performance is already challenged under icy conditions, drivers should be certain that their brakes are in safe working order.
- Tires. Tire traction is crucial for effective turning, acceleration, and stopping. To ensure that a vehicle’s tires will provide the best possible performance on icy roads, drivers should check for excessive tread wear and ensure proper inflation.
Icy Roads Require Safe Driving Practices
Because of the many hazards involved with driving on icy surfaces, drivers should be expected to take extra precautions under adverse conditions.
AAA recommends the following safety practices for winter driving:
- Limiting speed. Speeding on icy roads can lead to serious accidents. Because icy roads already require greater stopping distances, this problem is only worsened when a vehicle must come to a stop at a higher speed.
- Using brakes appropriately. Drivers should avoid pumping the brakes, whether they have anti-lock brakes or another braking system. They should use even pressure by applying the ball of the foot on the brake pedal.
- Increasing following distance. As mentioned, drivers should provide for as great of a following distance as possible in order to allow for a longer stopping time.
We Can Help You File an Insurance Claim or Lawsuit After an Icy Roads Accident
If a driver failed to take these and other safety precautions under icy conditions and their negligence caused your accident, we can help you take action.
You may be able to:
- File an insurance claim. Typically, we will begin by determining liability in your case, establishing the value of your losses, and filing an insurance claim on your behalf.
- File a lawsuit. However, if the insurance coverage or an insurance settlement offer is insufficient to meet the costs of your accident-related losses, we can proceed with filing a lawsuit to seek just compensation.
Even if your accident was only caused by adverse weather and no other at-fault driver was involved, we can still help you with the process of pursuing an insurance claim. Seeking fair compensation from an insurance company can be complicated, even if your accident and injuries seem relatively straightforward.
Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. Can Help You Fight for Justice
For help managing your case, Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. can fight for you. We can help you claim compensation for the following losses:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- And more
You don’t have to be alone in handling your case’s paperwork, negotiating fair compensation, or communicating with the insurance companies. We don’t recommend that clients represent themselves in insurance claims, as you may not realize just how much money you could be leaving on the table.
We can factor in the full picture of your costs and losses, both past and future—and we can use our experience with personal injury cases to fight for you.
Call Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. Today
Call us for a free consultation today to learn how icy roads cause car accidents and much compensation we may be able to help you seek.
To speak with a member of our team and discuss your case and legal options, call 317-720-3229.