Snow Accidents and Winter Car Crashes

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Updated February 2, 2021 | Auto Accidents |

Car in a snowy ditch

Snow Accidents

The winter months are what drivers dread most when thinking about spending time on the roads. Although snow may be a beautiful sight, road conditions can be very dangerous for both automobile and truck drivers. In Indiana, snow is inevitable, so it is important drivers are well-equipped to navigate the testy conditions. Buckle up to learn more.

Common Causes of Winter Accidents

Roadways in Indiana are much more dangerous during the winter months. Due to dropping temperatures, rain, ice, and snow mix, auto and truck accidents happen much more frequently. There are several contributing factors and causes to winter accidents; some of the most common include slippery roads, low visibility, and poor vehicle maintenance.

Slippery Roads

When temperatures drop, roads can quickly become slick and create difficulty for drivers. Black ice is often present and can be especially dangerous because by definition it is not always easy to see. Slippery roads can lead to rear-end accidents, sliding through an intersection or stop sign, and spin-out collisions. When driving on slippery roads, it is important to reduce your speed and leave plenty of space between you and other drivers on the road.

Low Visibility

Heavy snow and blizzards throughout the winter can decrease a driver’s visibility making it difficult to see even a few feet in front of you. Stay home if you can, but in the event of driving through low visibility, it is important you have functioning windshield wipers and working heat in your vehicle, and to keep a close eye on your surroundings.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Routine check-ups on your car or truck are important any time of year, but especially during the winter. If your car or truck is having issues, winter weather conditions can be even more of a test for your vehicle. Checking tires, windshield wipers, defroster fans, fog lights and working headlights is important before heading out into uncertain weather conditions.

How is Fault Determined in Winter Accidents?

Snow and ice contribute to car crashes in several ways. Weather conditions affect a driver’s ability to control and operate their vehicle. Drivers should be aware that is it not always the actual road conditions that may cause an accident in snowy weather. First and foremost, it is important drivers reduce their speed when driving in snowy conditions. Many drivers fail to slow down and adapt to conditions, contributing to many snow accidents.

Duty of Care when driving in Indiana is an obligation assumed by drivers that they agree to adhere to a standard of reasonable care and responsibility when performing acts that could potentially harm others, such as driving in uncertain conditions. Even in poor conditions, drivers are still expected to drive safely and adjust their driving according to road conditions.

Proving fault in an accident involving snow or ice can be done in a number of ways. Photographs, witness statements, and cell phone records can all be used to prove who was at fault for an accident. For more information on liability, or for a specific case evaluation, contact the auto accident attorneys at WKW today.

What to Do If You Have Been Involved in an Accident

If you’ve been involved in an accident due to snow or bad weather conditions, it is important to remain in your car immediately following the accident if it’s safe and you are able to do so. If you must keep your car running to stay warm, be aware of your surroundings and only keep it on as long as you have to. If you are stuck in the snow, turn your headlights and flashers on to maximize your chances of being seen. If you carry safety reflective gear, this would be the time to use it.

Following an auto accident:

  1. Stay calm and get to safety, or remain in your vehicle if you are safer there
  2. Check for any injuries
  3. Call 911 to alert authorities
  4. Document the accident if able
  5. Collect and exchange information
  6. Seek medical attention
  7. Inform insurance company
  8. Contact the attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham

Tips for Winter Driving

Simple tips to follow in case you end up in a winter accident include ensuring your car’s battery is charged, your gas tank is full, all lights work (including headlights, brake lights, turn signals, etc.), cooling system is free of leaks, windshield wipers have enough washer fluid, and your tires are filled to the necessary pressure requirement and have good tread. It is also important to allow more than enough space between you and other vehicles, and to give snowplows plenty of room when you encounter them on the road.

Contact Wilson Kehoe Winingham Today

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a car accident due to snow or hazardous winter conditions, contact the Indianapolis auto accident attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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