Data gathered over the last ten years has revealed that over one out of every five accidents is weather related. Adverse weather has an impact on stopping distance, but also on the ability of motorists to see what lies ahead of them. The Chicago car accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have dealt with many cases involving drivers who did not take proper measures to account for reduced visibility due to the weather. When traveling in rain, snow, fog or windy conditions, it is more important than ever for drivers to slow down, place plenty of distance between themselves and other vehicles and not to act in an aggressive or reckless manner.
Factors that Affect Visibility
16% of crash fatalities recorded over a ten year period were due to weather related crashes. When most people think of weather related incidents, they associate them with rain, sleet, ice or snow and fail to consider how visibility plays a role. Following are all of the ways that weather can severely limit the ability of a driver to see and react to hazards that are ahead.
- High wind speeds— the wind can make other conditions more dangerous by creating white out conditions during snowfall, worsening fog or increasing the visibility reducing impact of rain.
- Rain— storms make it more difficult to see by creating darker road conditions and making it more difficult for drivers to see through their windshields. It becomes especially difficult to see pedestrians or vehicles that do not have running headlights. Rain is responsible for 8% of all crash fatalities and 47% of weather related fatalities.
- Snow— icy and snowy conditions can make it more difficult to maintain control of a vehicle, which is why our Chicago auto injury lawyers suggest maintaining extra distance between yourself and other vehicles during wintry conditions. When the wind picks up, snow can severely impact your visibility and create a white out. Snow is the cause of 13% of weather related fatalities and 2% of all crash fatalities.
- Fog— the primary danger that fog presents is the sudden reduction of visibility that occurs when a vehicle enters dense patches of fog at high speeds. This can reduce your visibility in a moment to only several hundred feet ahead and make it impossible to see any hazards you may be coming up on. 9% of weather related fatalities are due to foggy conditions.
- Glare— the sun can reduce visibility as well and glare has an adverse impact on drivers during the morning and evening hours when it is low in the sky.
Drivers are Still Liable for Weather Related Accidents
Even though the weather can limit our visibility, we are still responsible for taking appropriate means to avoid an accident. Maintaining a safe following distance, reducing speed and ensuring that you are not driving while distracted are the best ways to reduce the chances you will be involved in an accident. If another driver hits you because he or she failed to act in a safe or responsible manner, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries and damage to your property.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is an award winning personal injury law firm that has helped thousands of clients with their accident claims. We have a successful track record of maximizing the value of our clients’ claims and ensuring that they are able to gain access to the medical treatment and therapy that they need. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Chicago car accident attorneys to learn more about your legal options. We promise to only collect a fee once we have secured compensation on your behalf.