Bad Weather Car Accidents
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Boca Raton Car Accident Attorney David B. Datny and The Datny Law Firm represent victims of automobile accidents, including those caused by bad weather, in Boca Raton and throughout Florida. Bad weather presents a serious hazard to drivers in Florida and around the country. Nationwide, more than one million weather-related motor vehicle crashes result in thousands of fatalities and hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. Though it may come as a surprise, most of these car accidents do not involve ice or snow, meaning drivers in warm climates like Boca Raton aren’t necessarily any safer than their northern counterparts. Rather, rain and wet pavement account for the largest number of accidents caused by weather conditions. Other hazardous weather conditions which increase the risk of driving and car accidents include fog, thunder/lighting and high winds. Many people do not know how to properly operate their vehicles during bad weather, resulting in careless and unnecessary accidents as well as injuries to innocent drivers on the roadway. If you have been injured in an automobile accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, Uber or Uber Eats car accident and/or Lyft car accident during bad weather, Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyer and Car Accident Attorney David B. Datny is here to help!
Bad Weather Driving Hazards
There are many different kinds of bad weather driving hazards that can increase the risk of driving on Florida’s roads as well as the likelihood of related car accidents; however, some of the most common risks associated with bad weather driving include the following:
1. Rain and Thundershowers
Boca Raton is a tropical climate that receives more than its share of rain especially in May through October, which is known as “rainy season”. September is historically the wettest month in Florida followed by June. Regular rain and thundershowers greatly increases the risk of driving on South Florida’s roadways as well as the number of car accidents by:
- Decreasing visibility
- Increasing the risk of sliding or hydroplaning on wet roadways
- Increasing the risk of malfunctioning vehicles
- Increasing safe stopping time, creating a need for greater distance between cars and earlier preparation for stopping at a traffic light or stop sign
2. High Winds
Wind is a less obvious road hazard, but high winds make driving dangerous in a variety of ways, including:
- A decrease in visibility due to dust and other small debris in the air
- A high likelihood of debris in the road
- Creating a risk of flying debris that may strike or pass in the path of a vehicle
- An increase in wind driven rain resulting in reduced visibility
- Greater difficulty in controlling vehicles—particularly light-weight vehicles and taller vehicles with flat sides
3. Weather-Related Hazards May Outlast the Storm
It’s important to note that many bad weather hazards persist after the weather itself calms. For example, in the wake of a hurricane or high-wind thunderstorm, drivers may encounter hazards such as:
- Debris in the road
- Downed power lines
- Broken or missing signage
- Malfunctioning or broken traffic lights
- Power outages impacting visibility
Safe Driving Practices for Bad Weather
Personal Injury Attorney and Car Accident Lawyer David B. Datny has helped many car accident victims as well as injured passengers involved in bad weather related accidents. He has extensive experience prosecuting and defending car accident claims, including those related to bad weather conditions, which makes him particularly well positioned to discuss how to drive and how not to drive during a storm or bad weather.
Of course, the most important safety precautions will depend on the type of bad weather you’re facing on the road. However, the basic principles of safe driving are always in play. For example, “maintain a safe following distance” is true whether it’s a warm, sunny day or pouring rain. A safe distance on wet pavement with decreased visibility is significantly longer than a safe distance on dry pavement without other risk factors, since it takes much longer to come to a safe stop on a slick surface.
Similarly, the posted speed limit may not be a safe speed when you’re driving in the rain, or when fog or high winds with dust and debris decrease visibility.
You can’t afford to rely entirely on common sense, though, and decisions made under stressful weather conditions can actually make matters worse. One common example involves turning on flashers (hazard lights) when driving in heavy rain or through fog. While many drivers think turning on their hazards lights improves safety, it actually makes driving more dangerous. It creates confusion on the road—both for other drivers and for emergency personnel. In addition, driving with flashers on is illegal in Florida, and can result in a costly traffic ticket.
Finally, avoid distractions while driving in bad weather or through fog, including conversations with passengers, talking on your cell phone, texting, the radio, drinking or eating. Bad weather conditions are dangerous enough, but they are even more hazardous when drivers are not paying attention or are distracted.
Liability for Bad Weather Car Accidents
While it’s easy to blame the weather for these car accidents, and even resulting injuries or fatalities, the truth is that a person, business entity, or governmental body is usually responsible. Most of the hazards associated with bad weather driving can be managed by safe driving practices, good vehicle maintenance, well-designed and manufactured equipment or well-planned and maintained roadways. In short, it’s rare that a weather-related traffic crash is “just an accident” or is wholly attributable to slippery roads or decreased visibility.
When a driver fails to adapt for weather conditions and maintain safe driving practices, he or she may be liable for any damages associated with the accident, including medical expenses, property damage, lost work time, and even non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Likewise, a governmental entity responsible for poor road conditions or an automobile manufacturer whose equipment wasn’t safe for operation under reasonably anticipated weather conditions may be legally responsible for any injuries and other losses.
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused in part by rain, fog, wet pavement, or other bad weather conditions, don’t assume it was “just an accident.” Speak with a Boca Raton Bad Weather Car Accident Attorney like David B. Datny as soon as possible. The Datny Law Firm and Personal Injury Lawyer David B. Datny have extensive experience handling weather-related motor vehicle accident cases, and will work hard to build the strongest possible case on your behalf.
The Datny Law Firm Recognizes the Challenges Car Accident Victims Face
When you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident or a loved one has been killed, pursuing legal action may be the furthest thing from your mind. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t offer fair compensation out of the goodness of their hearts. You will very likely have to fight for the compensation you need to secure medical care and rebuild your life.
At The Datny Law Firm, we know how daunting that can be, and want to make it as easy as possible for you to get the help you need. You can contact us at any hour of the day or night for a FREE case evaluation: just call 561-221-7474. The sooner you get a knowledgeable, zealous advocate in your corner, the sooner you can turn your full attention to recovering and rebuilding your life. We will gladly travel to you if you are unable to make it to our offices. In fact, Boca Raton Car Accident Attorney David B. Datny will meet with you by phone, via video conferencing, in your home, or in another convenient location.
The Datny Law Firm represents injured accident victims in Boca Raton and throughout Palm Beach County including Wellington, Lake Worth, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, North Palm Beach, Lantana, Golden Lakes, Loxahatchee, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Greenacres, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach. We also represent Clients in Broward County including Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Lighthouse Point, Margate, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, and Sunrise.