A major storm that began over Thanksgiving weekend dropped multiple feet of snow across New Hampshire. The snowy conditions caused by the storm resulted in 1,000 car accidents. Northeasterners are used to severe weather conditions, but this storm has broken several records. Many New England states declared states of emergency and warned people not to drive unless it was absolutely necessary. Some parts of New Hampshire received over two feet of snow during the storm and over 770 flights became canceled due to the storm. Icy weather conditions caused by storms and typical winter weather in New Hampshire are leading causes of New Hampshire car accidents.
Car Accidents Caused by Inclement Weather
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that as many as 22% of all motor vehicle accidents involve inclement weather. Of the 5,891,000 vehicle crashes that occur each year, approximately 1,235,000 involve snow, sleet, severe crosswinds, rain, icy pavement, or snow. Every year, approximately 6,000 people die and 445,000 people suffer injuries in inclement weather car accidents.
Dangerous inclement weather conditions include the following:
- High wind speeds that decrease visibility due to snow, dust, or blowing
- Lane obstructions caused by wind-blown snow, dust, or debris
- Rain that results in decreased visibility
- Rain that results in pavement friction
- Flooding that makes it impossible to properly operate the motor vehicle
- Fog that impairs the visibility of drivers
- Extremely low temperatures that cause infrastructure damage and prevent friction between the tires and the roadways
Proving Negligence in Car Accidents Caused by Icy Conditions
Icy roadways are common in New Hampshire. When rain freezes on the pavement, it can create dangerous ice conditions. Icy pavement, slushy pavement, snow, and sleet makes weather conditions more dangerous. Even when bad weather causes car accidents, an injured party can still hold another driver negligent. New Hampshire drivers still have a duty to drive reasonably safely even in inclement weather conditions. Drivers must take reasonable precautions, such as:
- Keeping their cars serviced with safe tires during the winter
- Adjusting speed to maintain reasonably safe driving conditions during bad weather
- Leave enough space between their car and the car ahead of them in case they need to stop quickly
- Drive defensively, especially during snow and rainfall
- Allow extra time to reach their destination so they are not driving in a rushed and reckless state
- Drivers should not text and drive or use other electronic devices, especially in inclement weather
Recovering Damages in an Inclement Weather Car Accident
If you have suffered an injury in a New Hampshire car accident involving inclement weather, you might be entitled to damages. You will need to prove that the other driver’s negligence or recklessness caused the car accident. The other driver will likely argue that the inclement weather was the sole cause of the accident. However, if the driver drove negligently, he or she can still be liable for damages. Contact our Manchester personal injury law firm today to discover how the attorneys at Ward Law firm can help you.