Each year, thousands of South Carolinians get into car wrecks, and many of them happen in bad weather. It can be easy to write these accidents off as nothing but mere mistakes caused by weather. However, the truth is that most accidents are the result of negligence, even in bad weather. At Krause, Moorhead & Draisen, P.A., we frequently help injured people prove who is at fault in causing crashes. With this in mind, here are some things every driver should understand about proving liability in bad weather accidents.
Bad Weather Is Not an Excuse for Bad Driving
After a bad weather car wreck, some drivers will make the mistake of believing that weather was the culprit. And to be fair, sometimes this is the case. But in most situations, proper driving could have prevented the accident. Take several examples:
The Rear-End Crash. Say you are rear-ended by another driver in heavy rain. It can be easy for the other driver to make excuses. These often sound like:
- “The rain was so heavy I couldn’t see.”
- “I tried to stop but the pavement was too slick.”
- “I couldn’t even see your taillights.”
If a driver can’t see the car in front of them, is it really safe to be driving? Likewise, if the pavement is slick, shouldn’t a driver slow down more? Indeed, the key to driving in bad weather is driving safely for the conditions.
Speed Limits. Many people will claim that they were traveling the speed limit. They use this excuse to say that weather had to be to blame. But in truth, if the weather is bad, you should slow down. A safe speed on a good day may be a deadly speed in heavy rain, fog, or snow.
Intersections. Finally, if someone runs a red light and strikes you in an intersection during bad weather, it can be easy to dismiss the crash as unpreventable. But think about it: if someone can’t see the light or is uncomfortable operating in traffic, given the severity of the weather, wouldn’t the safest choice be to pull over and park until the rain passes? At a minimum, shouldn’t the person slow down and proceed with extreme caution?
Personal Responsibility Doesn’t Take a Break in Bad Weather
In good weather and bad, each driver on the road remains responsible for their own choices and actions. Therefore, if someone makes the choice to operate a motor vehicle in inclement weather, they are still charged with the duty of using a reasonable and safe speed and operating with caution, regardless of the weather.
Getting Help After a South Carolina Bad Weather Accident
If you were injured in a car accident during nasty weather, call Krause, Moorhead & Draisen, P.A. today. Consultations are free, and there is absolutely no risk or obligation. During your consultation, you can often get answers to many of your questions and find out more about what it means to hire a personal injury attorney. The best part is, our fees are based on the outcome. This means you never pay unless we win compensation for your injuries. So call us today.
Steven Krause is a personal injury, auto accident, and workers’ compensation lawyer who practices in Anderson, SC. He graduated form the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law and has been practicing law for 40 years now. Steven Krause believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience here.