Anyone who has driven in Michigan knows that the weather and roadway conditions can change quickly. A clear and safe driving day can rapidly turn into an unsafe rainy or snowy day with limited visibility. Michigan motorists would be well advised to stay abreast of the weather report and to try to limit the amount of driving they must do in wet, icy, snowy and foggy conditions.
Weather Conditions and Michigan Crashes
Most car accidents are the direct result of driver negligence or wrongdoing, but there are a number of accidents in which the weather is a contributing factor. According to the 2012 Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, 159,419 accidents occurred in clear weather conditions and it was cloudy at the time of 63,678 accidents. Another 22,671 Michigan car accidents that year occurred in rainy conditions and 20,733 crashes occurred during snowy conditions. There were 932 accidents that occurred during severe wind conditions and 778 collisions that took place in conditions that involved sleet and hail.
The Office of Highway Safety Planning reports that 69 people were killed in rainy conditions, 34 were killed in snowy conditions, four motorists were fatally injured in severe wind conditions and three were killed in sleet and hail.
Adjusting to the Weather Conditions
Regardless of the weather, it is helpful to have tires that are properly inflated. It is also useful to have properly working windshield wipers and a clear windshield. If it does begin to rain, you can reduce your chances of suffering an injury by slowing down, turning on your headlights and leaving more space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. If the rainfall severely limits your visibility, it may be advisable to pull over and wait for the storm to pass. If heavy rain or snowfall is expected, it may be best to delay your trip.
There are many times when it is necessary to drive in adverse conditions. Make sure you have your lights on and that you slow down when approaching turns and intersections. Remember that it takes longer to brake in wet, icy, snowy and muddy conditions. So, you will have to begin stopping sooner than usual. All drivers should also remember that it is dangerous to drive while drunk, fatigued or distracted no matter what the weather conditions are.
Determining Liability in Michigan Weather-Related Accidents
There are a number of potentially liable parties in Michigan cases involving adverse weather conditions. Was another driver responsible for the crash by driving too fast for the conditions? Did the government in charge of the roadway fail to make the roadway safe for motorists? Did a defective auto part fail to work properly during wet or icy conditions? An experienced personal injury attorney is often needed to stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that the victims' legal rights are protected.
Contact Your Michigan Car Accident Lawyer
There are many damages victims may sustain as the result of a Michigan car accident. In addition to expensive repairs to your vehicle, you may rack up medical bills while having to miss work. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, you may never be able to return to work or regain your earning capacity. Ideally, you will be offered support for lost earning potential, future medical expenses and mental anguish.
Insurance companies make every effort to make claims go away without hurting their bottom line. Therefore, they often offer inadequate settlements or deny valid claims. You do not have to accept an inadequate settlement and you have the right to appeal an unfavorable decision. The experienced Michigan personal injury lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. will help protect your rights and ensure that you are offered fair and full compensation for your pain and suffering due to your weather related accident. Contact our top rated legal team now at (800) 606-1717 for more information on your legal rights and to discuss your case with an award winning car accident attorney.