Winter Weather Car Accidents

Charlotte usually has mild winters compared to many other places in the United States. However, winter weather is still responsible for many dangerous car accidents in the Charlotte area. The fact that it does not frequently snow may be the reason for these accidents. Many North Carolinians are not used to winter weather and are often not comfortable driving in snowy conditions. This, in and of itself, may result in more car accidents.

If you have been involved in a winter weather accident, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible to make sure your rights are protected. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Potential Causes of Winter Weather Car Accidents

Icy roads, heavy snowfall, and reduced visibility are just some of the winter weather conditions that drivers may encounter while on the road. There are approximately 15,6000 car accidents during the winter season. Of those winter car accidents, 1,300 people will lose their lives, and 6,000 people will be injured. Below is a list of the three most common causes of winter weather car accidents.

Rear-end Collisions
Anytime drivers experience a decrease in visibility, the risk of rear-end collisions increases. When drivers experience black ice or wet pavement, their first instinct is to slam on the brakes. Slamming on the brakes can be dangerous because the driver's vehicle may swerve and collide with surrounding vehicles. Additionally, it is easy to misjudge the distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you, especially if it is raining, cloudy, or snowy.

Drivers often stop more frequently when they are driving in bad weather conditions. When drivers do not have enough space between them and the car in front, they may not be able to stop in time after the driver in front stops suddenly. Increasing your following distance can help prevent a rear-end collision.

Lane Drifting Car Accidents
Drifting into another lane and causing a collision is also common in the winter months. Rain, fog, and extremely cold temperatures can make it nearly impossible for a driver to see out his or her windshield. The driver may not be able to tell where the lane starts and ends and drift into a neighboring lane. When you are in the wrong lane on a two-lane road, you may even drift into oncoming traffic, putting yourself and others at risk of a head-on collision.

A seemingly harmless collision can very quickly become severe if multiple cars become involved. For example, when a driver clips another driver's tail, that driver could start spinning and collide with other drivers. All it takes is one collision to cause a potential multi-car pile-up and a roadblock for oncoming traffic. Not all winter weather accidents happen on busy highways and freeways. Drivers can drift into neighborhood telephone poles, stop lights, and stop signs when they cannot see in front of them.

Spinout Collisions
Spinout collisions are also common in winter weather accidents. When roads are slick from rain, sleet, or ice, it is more likely that drivers will spin out, losing control of their vehicle. If you can, try and avoid driving during dangerous weather conditions to avoid a potential accident.

If you must drive during dangerous weather conditions, it is important not to slam on the brakes if your car begins to spin. Slamming on the brakes can cause your car to drift even further and push you into another lane of traffic. It is typically impossible to get control of your vehicle once you start spinning. The best thing you can do is stay calm and try not to overcorrect, as that could exacerbate the problem.

Contact Us Today

While we cannot control the weather, we can control how we react. Drivers have a legal duty to use reasonable caution when driving; especially when driving in dangerous weather conditions. When drivers fail to use reasonable care, they may be liable for any resulting accident.

If you have been involved in an accident, we can help. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we understand how stressful the aftermath of an accident can be. One of our personal injury attorneys can evaluate your case and help you figure out the best way to move forward. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn how we can advocate for you. For your convenience and safety, we offer video and phone conferencing. If you prefer an in-person consultation, we have three easy to reach offices in Uptown Charlotte, Monroe, and Mooresville.

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