Massachusetts residents are well aware of the uncharacteristic weather this year and the impact it has had on roadway safety. Slippery conditions, no doubt, can leave the best of drivers in the ditch once in a while. The impact of weather conditions on driving safety is highlighted well by the fact that a total of 36 accidents were reported to have occurred in New Bedford in a three-hour window on Thursday morning.
Fortunately, according to police, only one person in all those accidents was struck and suffered minor injuries. Crash victims are not always so lucky, though, and cases of serious injury and death are easy to cite. With all of these accidents occurring, it is important for drivers to exercise additional caution on the roadway.
Adjusting driving behavior to the weather conditions is part and parcel of being a responsible driver. Obviously, slowing the vehicle down, taking turns more cautiously, giving plenty of time for a turn signal, and allowing for extra trailing space between vehicles are all important ways to adjust to dangerous weather conditions. Then there is the importance of keeping deicer fluid filled up, making sure one’s tires are adequately inflated and so on.
Drivers who fail to exercise good judgment in the care and operation of their vehicle can be held accountable for injuries and fatalities, regardless of how bad the weather conditions were at the time of the crash. Courts do not, to be sure, require superhuman efforts, but rather reasonable care. What this standard means obviously depends on the circumstances, and this is precisely an issue that is sometimes litigated in auto accident cases.
Those who have suffered injury due to another motorist’s failure to exercise reasonable care in poor weather conditions should always work with an experienced attorney to ensure their right to compensation is protected.