The Federal Highway Administration reports that in the 10-year period from 2007 to 2016, weather was a factor in 21 percent of all vehicle accidents, 19 percent of all crash injuries, and 16 percent of all crash fatalities in the United States. It is clear that weather plays a significant role in car accidents, and as the late fall and winter months approach in Illinois, wind, rain, snow, sleet, and hail can make driving conditions increasingly dangerous. If you are injured in an accident during inclement weather, it is important to know how it may affect your claim for compensation.
Weather Is Not an Excuse for Negligence
Although weather conditions can make driving more dangerous and increase the chances of an accident occurring, in most accidents involving two or more vehicles, a driver may still be considered negligent despite the weather’s impact. Negligence is defined as a situation in which one party owes a duty of care to another and fails to uphold it, thereby causing injury or other damages. When weather conditions are poor, drivers have a duty to take the necessary precautions to ensure they are driving safely, which may include:
- Reducing speed
- Leaving more space between vehicles
- Allowing more time to stop
- Paying special attention to the surroundings
- Making sure tires, brakes, lights, and windshield wipers are in working order and equipped for the weather conditions
If a driver fails to take these precautions and that failure is determined to be the cause of an accident, anyone who is injured may have a claim for compensation....