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Although the state of Georgia may not experience a lot of snowfall during the winter, that does not mean that we do not have to know how to handle the hazardous driving conditions. Although it is common for people to say, “it was just an accident” when winter accidents occur, an accident can cause a lot of injuries and damages. The statement seems to imply that no one is at fault simply because the roads were slick, but that is not always the case. That is why it is important to understand some of the winter hazards you may face and how fault is determined in an accident.
Winter Weather and Poor Driving Conditions
Although a variety of winter weather has been known to hit the Peach state, here are some of the ones that you may come across:
- Snow Storms – Although snow storms are fairly irregular, we do get snow that accumulates on the roads from time to time. Drivers tend to drive too fast for the conditions sometimes which can result in loss of control of the vehicle and an accident. Drivers may also make the mistake of not increasing their stopping distance. Slick roads require more distance to bring a vehicle to a stop. This can result in a rear-end collision.
- Ice on the Road and Freezing Rain – This tends to happen much more often in Georgia and poses an even greater risk to those on the road. Similar to conditions during the snow, drivers need to increase their stopping distance and decrease their speed.
- Poor Visibility – Snow, rain, and fog can reduce drivers’ ability to see their own path and the other drivers around them. In these situations, decrease your speed and increase your stopping distance to prevent accidents. Georgia law also requires that your headlights be turned on when driving in conditions where visibility is low.
If a driver fails to take the above precautions and it results in an accident, they may be found negligent under Georgia laws. Negligence may include driving too fast and losing control, sliding through a stop light or stop sign, or even driving with their lights off.
Winter Driving Tips
If you find yourself traveling in hazardous winter weather, the Georgia Department of Transportation recommends the following:
- Pay attention to DOT crews who are trying to clear the roads. Do not attempt to pass the trucks and stay at least 100 feet behind them.
- Decrease your speed by at least half, and switch to a lower gear as you drive.
- Beware of black ice. This is one of the most dangerous elements of winter weather. If you find yourself on black ice, do not hit the brakes and keep the steering wheel steady. Take your foot off the gas, and never try to overcorrect your steering if you start sliding.
- Watch for down power lines and fallen trees. These create a special hazard on the roadway, so take caution when driving if these conditions are possible.
Contact an Experienced Georgia Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a winter driving accident, contact the attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. today and let us help you get the compensation you are entitled to, especially if your injuries were due to the negligence of another driver.