A Columbus Car Accident Lawyer Explains What to Know
No matter how careful you are driving in winter conditions, a reckless driver can hit you and cause a serious car accident. Maybe the roads are icy and slippery. Maybe visibility is poor because of blinding snow. Maybe another motorist is not driving safely for the conditions.
Every car accident comes with complex questions. The answers can be even more elusive after a wintertime crash. For example, how do you prove it was a reckless driver, not just the weather conditions, who caused your accident?
The best way to avoid a motor vehicle crash is to be attentive, follow the rules of the road, and adjust your driving to conditions. That means: do not text or drive distracted; match your speed to road and weather conditions instead of the speed limit; drive sober, and always wear a seat belt.
You should also increase the following distance behind the vehicles ahead of you so you have more time to stop and room to maneuver in the event of an emergency. You never know whether another driver has the skills to drive in bad weather.
In a similar sense, never crowd or drive beside a snowplow, sander, or other road maintenance vehicle. They make wide turns, stop often, overlap lanes, and exit the road regularly. Plows also spray debris, so use extreme caution if you must pass them and it's safe/legal to do so.
Preparing to Drive When It's Cold Outside
You also can prepare your vehicle with winter safety in mind:
- Regularly check your tires, including the spare. As the temperature drops, so does tire inflation pressure. Also, check tires for damage and wear. Consider purchasing snow tires.
- Be aware that thick winter clothing can interfere with how a car seat harness fits and safeguards a young child.
- Have a mechanic check your battery, charging system, and belts.
- Have a mechanic check your vehicle's defroster and cooling system.
- Teach yourself how safety technologies, especially antilock braking systems, perform in winter conditions.
- Check the headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, and interior lights.
- Make sure your windshield wipers are working properly and that your reservoir of washer fluid is full.
- Stock your vehicle with emergency supplies, such as a snow shovel, broom and ice scraper; abrasive material in case you get stuck in the snow (cat litter or wood chips); jumper cables, flashlight, flares, and emergency markers; blankets for warmth if you get stranded; a cellphone charger; water; food, and necessary medication.
- Keep the gas tank as full as possible.
- Plan and familiarize yourself with your route. Check weather conditions and forecasts, road conditions, and traffic reports.
Talk to an Attorney if You've Been Injured
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. Some motorists who fail to adjust their driving for weather conditions try to avoid responsibility for an accident, but you can't sue mother nature, and you shouldn't have to pay for someone else's negligence.
The problem is insurance adjusters have a vested interest in protecting insurance company profits. As such, it's common for them to purposefully delay, dispute, or flat-out deny valid injury claims in the name of saving money. To them, your injuries are just numbers on a piece of paper. That's why you need someone on your side to look out for your best interests and put a stop to the games.
At Smith Law Office, we've been fighting for clients in Columbus and Central Ohio since the 1980s. Attorney Scott Elliot Smith has won 95 percent of the civil jury trials in which he was lead counsel, and he's known for providing exceptional legal representation to his clients.