Who is Responsible for a Winter Car Accident?
While the weather around Marietta certainly does not get as cold as in some parts of the country, Georgia does still get some wintry weather. Indeed, when temperatures drop below freezing, sleet and ice can make for extremely dangerous driving conditions. But who is liable for a winter car accident? Many people assume that the winter weather alone is to blame, but it is critical to understand that most inclement weather crashes still result from another motorist’s negligence even if the bad weather played a role in the collision. We want to provide you with more information about responsibility for winter car accidents, and to encourage you to seek advice from a Georgia car accident lawyer if you are injured in a crash during the winter.
Unreasonable Driving Behaviors Can Cause or Contribute to Winter Crashes
When you are traveling on a road and see a posted speed limit sign, you probably assume that the posted speed limit is the law under any conditions. Yet whether a speed limit sign says 55 miles per hour or 70 miles per hour on the highway, traveling at that speed during wintry weather may be negligent.
When motorists get behind the wheel of a car, they owe a duty of care to others on the road. That duty of care means that every motorist needs to behave reasonably on the road, and needs to drive as a reasonable person would under the conditions. Accordingly, if Georgia is experiencing winter weather that results in low visibility or slick roads, a reasonable person would not travel as fast as the posted speed limit. Rather, a reasonable person would slow down. As such, a driver who continues to push the posted speed limit despite inclement weather may be negligent and may be responsible for a winter car crash that occurs.
Negligent Maintenance of a Vehicle Can Contribute to a Winter Crash
Motorists have a duty to maintain their vehicles in a way that ensures they will not cause harm to other motorists or vehicle occupants. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there are some maintenance issues that need to be done regularly to ensure that a vehicle is safe for driving in wintry weather.
Vehicle owners should have their tires properly inflated and should replace tires with treads that are worn. Vehicle owners should also have the coolant and wiper fluid checked, and should replace dull windshield wiper blades. All headlights and taillights should also be clean and in working condition to ensure that other drivers on the road can see the car if there is low visibility or other inclement weather. If a driver vehicle owner does not have his or her car or truck properly maintained and that negligent maintenance leads to a collision, the vehicle owner can be responsible for any injuries or property damage resulting from the crash.
Learn More By Contacting a Georgia Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
Do you have questions about liability in a car crash and whether you are eligible to file a claim? Our Marietta car accident attorneys can help. Contact The Strickland Firm today for more information.