Getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is something most of us do every day, so we tend to see it as a rather routine matter. In reality, there are a lot of risks we face every day when enter onto the roadway. These risks include things like distracted and drunk drivers, road rage, driver fatigue, and plain old careless driving.
Inclement weather is another risk drivers can face on the road. Depending on where you live and what you’re dealing with, inclement weather patterns can impact highway safety in different ways. During the winter season, Pennsylvania drivers often have to deal with snowstorms, which can lead to accidents caused by icy conditions.
Ordinarily, drivers can’t blame anybody but Mother Nature for unsafe driving conditions inclement weather. Other drivers can still be at fault, though, for contributing to automobile accidents even in inclement weather conditions. All drivers are expected, of course, to exercise reasonable care and control over their vehicle at all times. Exactly what is considered reasonable care in the context of a thunderstorm or blizzard isn’t always clear, though.
Although traffic violations can usually serve as an easy reference point for identifying negligence, inclement weather changes the circumstances to a greater or lesser degree. A motorist who ends up going the wrong way in an oncoming lane in white-out conditions would likely be held less culpable than a driver who does the same in ordinary weather conditions. In other words, establishing negligence and liability in such cases is a very fact-specific determination.
In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this issue.