Though Winter does not officially start for a few weeks, colder temperatures and early sunsets have already arrived here in Albany and the Capital District. Snowy and icy roads are just around the corner. Unfortunately, that increases the chances that you will be injured in a car accident. It seems that every year, some drivers forget how to drive safely once Winter starts.
Some accidents can be blamed on icy or snowy conditions where neither driver is at fault. But Mother Nature is often not the culprit. A negligent driver can still be held responsible for your injuries where there is a failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances.
Bad weather is no excuse to drive recklessly
Under New York law, as in most states, drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care under the prevailing circumstances when operating their motor vehicle. Put another way, drivers must adjust their driving to the road and weather conditions, taking into consideration such things as visibility that might be reduced by blowing snow or sleet, the presence of snow or ice on the road that may require operating at a reduced speed, and the fact that other drivers on the road may not act as responsibly under the conditions present.
While it’s true that some collisions are unavoidable even when care is taken to avoid an accident, the majority of crashes involve inattention, failure to adjust speed to road and visibility conditions, and continuing to drive despite snow or ice reducing visibility from one’s vehicle.
Drivers have a duty to adjust for weather and road conditions. For example, a blizzard or ice on the road requires the prudent driver to slow down, turn their headlights on, increase following distance and sometimes, pull over until conditions improve. A driver who chooses not to take these reasonable precautions and causes a collision with another vehicle, resulting in serious injury, should and can be held accountable under the law.
The attorneys at Anderson, Moschetti & Taffany, PLLC have been handling automobile accident cases for decades and have settled or gone to trial for thousands of clients who have been seriously injured by another’s negligence. They fight hard for victims of negligent drivers and stand ready to fully protect your interests if you are injured as the result of a careless driver’s actions.