While Texas doesn’t typically experience the snowy winters you’ll find in the Northeast and Midwest, we’re certainly no stranger to hazardous driving conditions. In particular, Texas tends to experience icy roads from time to time, especially during these cold winter months when moisture accumulates on the roads during the day and freezes overnight.
That leads us to a common question: If I lose control of my car on ice and slide into another car, am I at fault? Or if another car slides into me after hitting a patch of ice, can I be compensated for personal injuries sustained during the accident?
Who is at fault: the driver or the ice?
Anyone who has hit a patch of ice while driving knows the feeling of completely losing control of their vehicle. If the ice weren’t there, you likely would have continued your drive just fine. However, in the eyes of the insurance companies, someone is responsible for the accident, and it’s not the weather.
It is the driver’s responsibility to make judgments about driving in certain weather conditions. If you are driving and lose control of your vehicle on a patch of ice, the insurance company might claim that you made a negligent decision by getting behind the wheel.
What To Do If You Are In A Weather-Related Car Accident
If another driver loses control of their vehicle and collides with your car, you can be eligible for compensation for property damage as well as medical bills if you are injured. Because the accident was likely just that — an accident due to poor weather conditions — the other party’s insurance company will likely fight hard to deny you the compensation you deserve.
If that happens, a car accident attorney can help fight your case. Insurance companies will use the icy roads against you even though it was their client who lost control of their vehicle. If you admit that the weather conditions were bad and it is not the other driver’s fault, they might use this to deny your claim completely.
An experienced car accident attorney can help navigate the complicated world of insurance compensation and can give increase the chances that you will receive a fair settlement. They can handle all communication with the other party’s insurance company and use their industry knowledge and experience to build your case.
When Driving On Icy Roads…
You might not always see the ice.
Our region in Texas is notorious for black ice. This type of ice sheet over the road is nearly impossible to see. If you’re hitting the roads this winter and there have recently been below-freezing temperatures, exercise extra precaution on the road.
Leave extra space between you and the car in front of you.
You’ve likely heard this one a million times, but it is one of the best ways to avoid an accident on icy roads. This is directly correlated with your brakes. Braking can easily trigger a slide. For that reason, it is important to leave plenty of space in front of you so you can break gently and retain traction.
Don’t be overconfident.
Overconfidence is one of the biggest factors that lead to an ice-related crash. Drivers with all-wheel drive, snow tires, or big vehicles might feel like they are immune to sliding on ice, but icy conditions can affect any type of vehicle.
Know what to do when you start sliding.
The best thing to do is to avoid sliding on ice altogether. However, if it does happen, know how to react. First, don’t panic and don’t follow your instincts. Your natural instinct is going to be to slam on your brakes, but this can make the situation worse.
Next, you will want to ‘turn into the slide.’ Assess which direction the rear of your vehicle is sliding. If it is sliding to the right, gently turn the wheel to the right. If the rear of your car is sliding to the left, turn the wheel to the left. Make sure to not jerk the steering wheel and overcorrect. This can cause the car to go into a spin and create a dangerous situation for everyone in or near the car.
Watch out for other drivers.
You can control how you behave when driving in poor weather conditions. You can’t, however, control how other drivers behave. Other drivers might lose control of their vehicle and slide into you or run you off the road. Keep an eye on the vehicles around you so you can adjust your road position if needed.
Were You Injured In An Icy Road Car Accident?
If you have been injured as a result of a car accident related to icy driving conditions, get in touch with Alex R. Hernandez Jr., PLLC to speak with a car accident attorney about your case. You might be eligible for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, and an experienced attorney can navigate this complicated time for you.
Our law firm will work to hold the other driver and their insurance company responsible for their behavior on the road that caused your injuries.
Get in touch with a car accident attorney today to discuss your case.