While most motorists understand the importance of cautious driving during the colder winter months, people are still injured every day by distracted, intoxicated, and otherwise negligent drivers. Each year, there are approximately 156,164 crashes on snowy and icy roads, injuring 116,800 people and killing 1,300 more.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you have the right to seek fair compensation for your medical bills, repairs to your vehicle, lost wages, and other losses. With the help of a skilled winter weather driving accident lawyer in New York, you could recover the money you need to rebuild your life and move on from the crash. At Finz & Finz, P.C., our team of skilled New York car accident lawyers will be ready to discuss your case and help you understand your rights and legal options.
Why Is Driving in the Winter So Dangerous?
Here are some of the reasons driving in winter weather can be particularly dangerous:
- Inexperienced drivers – Many people, and particularly teenagers who may be new to driving, may not know how to drive in snowy and icy conditions. Navigating the roads in these conditions requires extra attention and skill to get to your destination safely. A driver who lacks experience driving when there is ice or snow on the road may fail to watch their speed, might be unaware of the dangers of black ice, or might otherwise make an error that could lead to a severe injury accident.
- It gets dark earlier – The fall and winter months have shorter days with less sunlight once Daylight Savings Time ends. This can throw off your senses and depth perception, making what was recently a daylight commute more treacherous.
- Cooler temperatures. For every ten degrees of temperature drop, your car’s tires will lose about 1 psi of pressure. Reduced psi can in turn severely affect vehicle handling and traction.
- Fog, frost, and cold rain can lead to adverse road conditions – Ice can stick around on dry roads for days after a snow or rain storm, increasing the chances of an accident.
- Sun glare– Sun glare worsens during winter months as the sun spends more time close to the horizon. A strong glare can effectively blind a driver, making it difficult for them to see other cars or pedestrians.
- Hazards may be more difficult to spot – Leaves and snow can pile on roadways and hide potholes or hazards and reduce traction on the road.
Winter Weather Driving Tips
Here are some tips and tricks to stay safe on the road during the later months of the year:
- Check tires and lights. Keep your tires properly inflated by checking pressure once a month, and verifying that headlights, windshield wipers, and fog lights are functioning normally.
- Watch for ice on bridges. Bridges and overpasses can ice over much quicker than the rest of the road, so watch for icy spots as temperatures drop, particularly in the morning.
- Slow down in fog. Reduce speed in foggy conditions, use fog lights if your vehicle has them, and avoid using high beams in foggy weather.
- Stay away from snow, ice, and leaf piles. As mentioned above, snow, ice, and leaves can make the roads more slippery and can hide potholes and other potential hazards.
- Clean your windshield. Clean both the interior and exterior of the front and rear windshields to reduce snow, ice, smudges, and dust, which can all significantly reduce visibility.
Common Injuries Suffered in Winter Weather Accidents
Some of the most common injuries suffered in winter weather collisions include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head and neck injuries, including whiplash
- Back, spine,and spinal cord injuries (including paralysis)
- Internal organ damage
- Broken or fractured bones
- Sprains, strains, and soft-tissue injuries
If you were involved in a winter-weather accident, the first thing you should do is to seek medical attention right away. Not only will seeing your doctor ensure that your injuries are diagnosed and treated, but it will also create a medical record that will likely be crucial to your injury claim.
Compensation for a Winter Weather Driving Crash
Following an accident caused by a distracted, intoxicated, inexperienced, or otherwise negligent driver, you could be forced to deal with painful injuries and significant out-of-pocket expenses that you never anticipated or planned for. Fortunately, the law in New York allows you to seek compensation from the at-fault party through a civil injury claim. Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, you could potentially recover compensation for:
- Medical bills, both current and future
- Lost wages if you misssed time from work due to the crash
- Loss of future earnings if your injuries have left you disabled
- Repairs to your vehicle or replacement of your car if totaled
- Travel expenses for treatment, therapy, and rehabilitation
- Medical devices and pharmaceutical prescriptions
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
Only an experienced injury attorney can tell you precisely what types of compensation you can seek and how much you can demand from the at-fault party. It’s vital to contact a lawyer right away to get started on your case.
Injured? Contact a New York and Long Island Car Accident Lawyer Now
The experienced car accident lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. on have extensive experience helping those who’ve been hurt in collisions in New York and Long Island. We fight for the fair compensation our clients deserve, and we’ll do everything in our power to help you get back on your feet after the crash. Call us at 855-TOP-FIRM or reach out to us online for a free consultation today.