Can Windy Weather Increase Car Accidents?
There are a myriad of reasons why car accidents happen, such as distracted driving and speeding. However, another major factor in crashes is bad weather. High winds are a form of bad weather that cause dangerous driving conditions. Windy weather car accidents are unsuspected, but happen frequently.
Heavy and strong winds can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, particularly if the vehicle has a high center of gravity, like an SUV. There are other ways high winds can increase the risk of a car accident:
- Decreased visibility: When winds are stronger than normal, they can cause decreased visibility by blowing up snow, dirt, and other debris onto the road. Should this happen suddenly, an unprepared driver may not have time to react safely and lose control of their vehicle.
- Reduced vehicle control: Strong winds can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle, as winds can make even the heaviest vehicle move back and forth. This causes a driver to have to correct the steering wheel and straighten the vehicle, and correcting the car enough or overcorrecting can cause loss of control.
- Obstruction: Trees, power lines, and other debris can land on the road because of strong winds. Objects on the road can cause unaware drivers to swerve unexpectedly and hit other cars.
- Slower speed: High winds can cause a driver to suddenly lose control of their vehicle, forcing them to reduce their speed suddenly. Unaware drivers may not react in time to braking vehicles, leading to rear-end collisions.
Who Is Liable for an Accident Involving Windy Weather?
Determining liability in a car accident involving windy weather, or even bad weather, can be complicated. Generally, a car accident involves the question of whether or not a driver was acting recklessly and breached their duty of care.
Drivers are expected to operate their vehicle safely at all times, even when weather causes loss of control. In most cases, bad weather cannot be used as an excuse, and a driver will be held liable for any accident should they lose control of their car. When the weather is particularly poor, drivers are expected to be off the road. If they decide to drive their car when the weather causes hazardous conditions, then they take full responsibility for themselves, their passengers, and others.
How to Drive Safely in Windy Conditions?
Driving at a reduced speed is a good way to maintain control when driving in bad weather conditions, particularly when it is windy outside. There are other ways to drive safely in these types of conditions, including:
- Drive defensively: Maintaining the speed limit and keeping a safe distance between yourself and others allows you to react safely in emergency situations. Driving defensively also involves anticipating the actions of other drivers, remaining focused behind the wheel at all times, and being aware of your surroundings.
- Weather warnings: Pay attention to the weather conditions before you head out on the road, especially if there are tornado or high wind warnings. Getting caught in inclement weather increases the risk of getting into an accident, so it is best to be informed and prepared before heading out. If it is possible, consider staying home instead of driving when the weather is not optimal.
- Watch for debris: Pay attention to your surroundings, and be aware that trees, telephone poles and power lines are susceptible to being blown over when it is windy out. Never driver over or near downed power lines, as they can still be live, causing serious injury or death.
Bowie Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Are Here to Help
Even if the weather was bad at the time of your car accident, every driver still must exercise their duty of care. If you have been injured in an accident involving bad weather, our Bowie car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King can assist. Call us at 202-331-1963 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, and National Harbor, Maryland, we serve clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.