Atlanta Winter Weather Car Accident Lawyers
Atlanta isn’t known for its annual snowfall, nor is Georgia in general (though the higher elevations of the Blue Ridge Mountains can get a few inches during the winter). On the occasion it does snow in the Atlanta metropolitan area, roads become slick and accidents WILL happen. One of the reasons Georgia’s roadways can be so hazardous in the winter is the constantly fluctuating temperatures. It may get cold enough to snow, then warm up a few degrees, causing the snow to melt. When the temperature drops down to freezing again, that melted snow turns to ice, making the roadways very slick. Another reason the Peach State’s roads can be dangerous in winter weather is that most Georgians aren’t used to driving in it.
The following are a few simple tips that can make driving in ice, rain, and snow much safer:
- Slow down. Your stopping time on slippery surfaces is greatly diminished, so reducing your speed will give you more time to stop.
- Never slam on the brakes. Slamming on the brakes causes you to skid and lose control of your vehicle. Instead, pump or tap the brakes at brief intervals, gradually slowing your vehicle down.
- If you begin to spin out, don’t slam on the brakes. Instead, pump or tap the brakes as mentioned above. Another important thing to do if you begin to spin out is to steer into the skid. That means that if the front of your car is sliding left and the back of your car is sliding to the right, turn the steering wheel to the right to straighten your vehicle out (and vice versa).
- If you find yourself stuck in snow or ice, don’t spin your tires. That will just make the road’s surface slicker. Instead, put your car into a lower gear and try to creep out. If that doesn’t work, put the car into reverse and try to back it out. And if that doesn’t work, let some of the air out of your back tires. This will increase your car’s traction.
Unfortunately, there are times when being a cautious driver is not enough to keep you from being involved in an accident, particularly if other drivers on the road aren’t driving cautiously. In the unfortunate event that you have been injured in a winter weather accident, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney. Since 2000, the legal team at Grant Law Office has been getting Georgia vehicle accident victims substantial compensation for their injuries. Call us today for a free consultation at (866) 249-5513 or (404) 995-3955.
Why Winter Weather Increases the Likelihood of Accidents
There are three main reasons why winter weather increases the chances of accidents on Georgia’s roadways. You should keep the following in mind while driving in winter conditions:
- Lack of traction: Rain, snow, and ice all drastically reduce a vehicle’s traction on paved, gravel, and dirt roads. Many drivers mistakenly believe that if they don’t see rain-slicked, snowy, or icy roadways, they don’t need to drive cautiously. This belief couldn’t be further from the truth. Many hazardous conditions, such as black or clear ice, aren’t always visible.
- Reduced visibility: Changing temperatures, rain, blizzard conditions, sleet, fog, and dirty water splashing up onto windshields can all greatly reduce a driver’s ability to see where he or she is going. That makes it harder to avoid roadway hazards.
- Negligent driving: Ultimately, the main reason accidents increase in winter is negligent behavior by drivers. The following practices are examples of negligent driving:
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Improper braking technique
- Not slowing down on curves or when making a turn
- Not allowing enough time and distance to come to a complete stop
- Driving on tires with inadequate tread
- Having worn-out windshield wiper blades
- Not driving with headlights on when needed
- Not having post-accident equipment like flares in one’s vehicle
Who’s Liable for Winter Weather Accidents?
If you or a loved one is injured in a winter driving accident, you may be able to seek compensation from the following liable parties:
- A negligent driver who caused the accident.
- The state or municipality responsible for designing and maintaining the roadway. Negligence on their part would include:
- Failure to clear ice, snow, and sleet off the roads in a timely manner.
- Failure to adequately salt and sand the roads in a timely manner.
- Lack of adequate caution and warning signs.
- Defective roadway design, construction, and maintenance.
- The designer and manufacturer of a defective vehicle or vehicle part. For instance, if the vehicle’s tires are rated as safe for ice and snow, but don’t perform adequately under those conditions. Faulty brakes, headlights, airbags, seat belts, etc., would all fall under this category.
Quality Legal Representation
If you have been involved in a winter-weather-related traffic accident, the first thing you need to do is get medical attention for anyone who has been injured. Once that is taken care of, you need to cover all your legal bases. Even minor injuries can lead to extensive medical bills, loss of income, and much more. An experienced Atlanta car accident attorney can see to it that you receive compensation for your injuries and losses from the liable party or parties. To protect your future and get your claim underway, contact the legal team at Georgia’s Grant Law Office. Call (866) 249-5513 or (404) 995-3955 for a free case evaluation with our seasoned attorneys.