As another cold snap bears down on Oklahoma, winter driving basics become all the more important. Winter weather is often a factor in car wrecks. However, when drivers do not drive for the conditions their negligence may be the actual cause of the Oklahoma car accident.
Over the busy Christmas travel season, a storm brought spotty rain and sleet to Oklahoma City and the Norman area. At least three people suffered injuries in a 21-vehicle pile-up on Interstate 40 after a semi truck jackknifed on a bridge. The slick roads made driving hazardous.
Already in 2013, an arctic cold front is bringing cold temperatures and possible accumulations to the north central part of the state. Sleet/snow mixtures will again make for difficult driving conditions.
Varying speeds based on driver comfort
When the driving conditions deteriorate, each driver on the road may have a different idea of what speed is safe. This is illustrated by a recent crash in Texas. Pea soup fog reduced visibility yet many drivers were still cruising along at or above the posted speed limit. A pile-up occurred when a semi-truck rear-ended a SUV.
It was unclear the exact cause of the rear-end accident, but if the SUV had only been travelling along at 40 miles per hour, it could have been very difficult for the semi to slow fast enough to avoid a collision. For big rigs, it takes more time to stop and with impaired visibility, the commercial truck driver may not have seen the SUV in time.
In rear-end accidents, assumptions are often that the second vehicle caused the crash. However, negligent behavior of the lead driver - texting while driving, talking on a cellphone or unexpectedly slamming on the brakes - might create a situation where it is impossible for the following vehicle to avoid a rear-end car accident.
Liability in weather-related crashes
Some winter accidents may not be the fault of either driver. Conditions may become so slick that every driver trying to make it up a highway entrance ramp spins out. In heavy congestion, it may be impossible to avoid an accident.
Following a crash, it is beneficial to consult an experienced personal injury attorney for advice. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses looking to limit total insurance payouts. Also, depending on liability determinations your insurance premiums could increase. Do not immediately accept responsibility for an accident. A later investigation could uncover that negligence of another driver caused the wreck.
If you have suffered injuries in an auto accident, speak with a personal injury attorney in your area. A lawyer will not only be able to explain your rights and possible remedies, he or she can review any offered settlement and advise whether it is in your best interests.