Weather conditions in Charlotte, North Carolina can contribute to auto accidents in several different ways. Sometimes, these accidents could be prevented by simply adjusting your driving behavior to accommodate the weather. Other times, there is little you can do to prevent an accident when the weather turns against you. In bad weather, the number of car accidents rises significantly. Even an experienced driver can be vulnerable to weather conditions. Wet roads, icy conditions, dense fog, harsh winds, precipitation, and other such weather conditions could lead to catastrophic weather related auto accidents.
Various Challenges Associated With Bad Weather Conditions
Bad weather conditions can impact vehicle performance (grip, stability, etc), traffic conditions, pavement friction, and even the driver’s capabilities (visibility, control, etc). Some challenges that are associated with bad weather conditions in Charlotte, NC include:
- Impact on visibility: Rainstorms, snowstorms, fog, etc. Many weather conditions could hinder a driver’s visibility. In such cases, even headlights are often ineffective.
- Impact on traction: During rain and snow, the roads are usually wet and slippery. In such cases, it is difficult for drivers to avoid colliding into vehicles or other objects that suddenly appear on the roadway.
- Impact on the driver’s control over the vehicle: Sometimes, harsh cross- winds could make it difficult for a driver to stay in a single lane; or slippery roads could make it much more difficult for a driver to successfully engage their brakes on time.
Often, bad weather conditions cause more than one problem for the driver. For example, during heavy rainfall, not only will the road be wet and slippery, but the driver’s visibility will also be affected. Sometimes, the only safe speed to drive at in these conditions is zero miles per hour. If the weather conditions are extremely bad, the driver should find a safe spot to stop, wait for the conditions to improve, and continue his or her journey when it is safe to do so.
Driving With Reasonable Care in Bad Weather Conditions
It is important for all drivers to drive with reasonable care in bad weather conditions in Charlotte, North Carolina. In fact, you are legally required to adjust your speed and driving behavior in accordance with the weather conditions, in order to avoid any kind of accident or collision. What is reasonable may vary from one case to another; and although the law states that all drivers must drive with reasonable care, there are no specific laws that state what exactly reasonable driving is. Rather, there are many guidelines for safe driving in all kinds of weather, and you are expected to behave in what any reasonable driver would consider appropriate for the given weather conditions.
As an example of how the weather conditions should impact your driving behavior, consider a situation where the speed limit on a particular street is 25 miles per hour. Yet, on this particular day, the rain is a little too heavy, the street is a little too slippery, and the rain diminishes your visibility. You are expected to know that it would be reasonable to drive at a much lower speed than the posted speed limit in response to the hazardous weather conditions. When it comes to establishing negligence after an auto accident occurs, the question of whether the accident could have been prevented will be paramount. If it could have been prevented by the driver adjusting their speed to accommodate the hazardous weather, then this will impact the case.
When You Take Reasonable Precautions but Still Get in an Accident
Maybe you were taking reasonable precautions for the weather, but other drivers were not, so you ended up in an auto accident, anyway. Drivers who do not make adjustments for weather conditions significantly increase the risks for other drivers and pedestrians, and could cause severe accidents. Some drivers may overestimate the hazards that the weather poses and might drive at an unreasonably slow speed, which could result in traffic jams. Other drivers may completely ignore the dangers of bad weather and drive recklessly. In Charlotte, North Carolina, you can file a lawsuit against any driver who does not drive with reasonable care in bad weather conditions and causes an accident that you were injured in.
North Carolina is an at fault state, which means that to determine liability in a car accident, you must prove negligence, despite the weather conditions. If you claim damages, or file a lawsuit against a driver that caused an accident, you must prove that you were driving with reasonable care, and the other party acted either negligently or recklessly. Keep in mind that there are also cases where every driver involved in the accident took reasonable care to prevent it, but the weather conditions were so severe, that nobody could have prevented the incident.
Recovering Compensation for a Bad Weather Auto Accident in Charlotte, North Carolina
In Charlotte, North Carolina, there are three ways of recovering compensation for the damage caused to you after a weather related auto accident. If the at- fault driver is insured, then you can claim damages from his or her insurance company. If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, then you can file a claim with your own car insurance company, provided that you have a uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or a collision coverage policy. Finally, you can file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recover compensation for damages.
When you file an auto insurance claim, there will be an investigation into the different variables that caused the accident, and this can affect whether or not you recover compensation and how much compensation you are entitled to. This is where it is helpful to have an attorney on your side, fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Call Ted A. Greve & Associates for More Information After a Weather Related Accident
If you have been involved in a weather related auto accident in Charlotte, North Carolina, contact the skilled auto accident attorneys in Charlotte, NC at Ted A. Greve & Associates to learn about the laws associated with your claim and how you can recover fair compensation.