January, February, and other winter months can be rough for driving in Cleveland. While car accidents can happen at any time of the year, winter weather crashes can be particularly severe. Wintry weather like sleet and snow can come on relatively quickly, and squalls can make it nearly impossible to see the road in front of you.
Whether you are driving in downtown Cleveland, on a neighborhood road in a suburb, or on a major highway like I-90, it is extremely important to recognize the risks of a winter car crash. It is also essential to know that, just because the road was icy when a collision happened, the winter weather conditions are not necessarily the only cause of the crash.
I often hear myths and misconceptions about winter car accidents and motor vehicle claims, and I want to dispel some of those for you here.
Myth 1: Drivers are Not Liable When Car Accidents Happen in Winter Weather
It is a common myth that only the winter weather is to blame. Motorists have a duty to use care based on the conditions. As such, if a driver does not behave according to what is reasonable given the weather conditions, that driver may be liable for injuries in a crash.
Myth 2: Insurance Will Not Cover a Winter Car Crash Claim
You can always seek compensation by filing a claim with your own insurance company, but you also may be able to file a third-party claim with the responsible driver’s insurance if we can show that driver’s behavior was unreasonable given the winter weather.
Myth 3: It Is Impossible to Prevent a Winter Weather Collision
There are many ways to prevent a winter weather accident. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, driving slowly, accelerating and decelerating slowly, increasing following distance, and avoiding stopping while driving up a hill are some of the best ways to be a safer driver in the snow.
Myth 4: Winter Car Accidents Do Not Happen That Often in Cleveland Because Ohio Motorists are Accustomed to Driving in Sleet and Snow
Winter car accidents happen in Cleveland and across Ohio more often than you might think. Indeed, an article in USA Today cited Ohio as one of the states with the highest number of winter motor vehicle collisions each year, with 40 or more annually.
Myth 5: Winter Weather Should Not Keep You at Home
As AAA emphasizes, one of the most important safety tips you can follow when it comes to winter weather car crashes is to stay off the road. Indeed, AAA recommends that drivers should “only go out if necessary.” Do not think that this warning does not apply to you. As AAA explains, “Even if you can drive well in bad weather, it’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by venturing out.”
Learn How I Can Make Them Pay for Causing a Crash
Were you injured in a wintry collision? Do not assume that only the weather was to blame. Chances are, another driver was negligent given the dangerous road conditions and did not slow down or take other precautions. As an experienced Cleveland car accident attorney with decades of experience, I know what it takes to file a strong claim against a negligent motorist. Contact me at 877.944.4373. I’ll Make Them Pay!®