Driving in the winter can be more dangerous than at other times of the year. Traction can be reduced significantly on snowy or icy roads, and drivers are more likely to lose control of their vehicles and become involved in car accidents. Throughout the United States, more than 150,000 accidents take place every year on roads with snow or ice, and these result in an average of more than 1,800 fatalities and 130,000 injuries. Wisconsin is one of the most dangerous states for winter driving, averaging 17.7 fatalities for every 100 days when temperatures are below freezing. Those who are involved in winter car accidents will want to understand how they can pursue financial compensation for their injuries to ensure that they will be able to recover following a collision.
Causes of Winter Auto Accidents
Multiple parties may be responsible for car accidents that take place in the winter. Drivers, passengers, or others who are injured in these collisions may be able to take legal action against parties whose negligence led to a collision, including in cases where accidents were caused by:
Negligent drivers – Anyone who drives in winter weather should take precautions to ensure that they can operate their vehicle safely and respond correctly to cold weather conditions. Drivers should avoid speeding or following too closely behind other vehicles, since reduced traction may make it difficult to slow down or stop in time to avoid a collision. Other unsafe practices, such as distracted driving or drunk driving, can be even more dangerous during the winter, and drivers who failed to drive safely may be held liable for injuries and damages caused to others.
Defective auto parts – Multiple types of motor vehicle parts, systems, or components may break down during cold weather, and this can affect a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely. Tires may not provide enough traction on snow or ice, headlights may not provide enough visibility during winter storms, or windshield wipers or defrosters may not be able to properly clear away snow or freezing rain to ensure that a driver can see the road around them. In some cases, drivers may be liable for accidents that occurred because they failed to properly maintain their vehicle. Manufacturers may also be liable for accidents caused by defective parts, or mechanics or installers may be liable for their failure to perform proper maintenance or install parts such as tires or brakes correctly.
Dangerous roads – While drivers should expect that roads will have reduced traction during winter weather, there may be some situations where roads are unreasonably dangerous. If a road was not properly maintained, large cracks or potholes may form, potentially leading to accidents. Failure to properly clear snow from a road or use sand or salt to increase traction may also cause collisions. In these cases, accident victims may be able to hold government authorities liable for their failure to ensure that roads were safe.
Contact Our Milwaukee Winter Car Accident Attorneys
If you or a member of your family have been involved in a car accident that took place during winter weather conditions, Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can help you understand your options for recovering compensation for your injuries and damages. We can identify the liable parties and work with you to ensure that you will have the financial resources you need during your recovery. Contact our Milwaukee car accident lawyers today at 414-271-1440 to get the legal help you need.