The Weather Can Affect Your Car Accident Claim

A wet two lane road on an overcast day

The rules of the road are dictated by what is safest for everyone who travels on them, which includes safety rules and regulations that are communicated via traffic signs, lights, and signals. Some of the most important traffic signs out there are speed limits, which state the maximum speed at which it is safe to drive (under optimal conditions). Because speed plays such a critical role in so many deadly traffic accidents, speed limits matter, but determining a safe speed for the road anyone is driving on at any given time goes far beyond merely checking the speed limit. Weather can play a critical role. If another driver’s speed leaves you injured in a traffic accident, consult with an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney today.

Taking the Weather into Consideration

Every motorist is responsible for driving safely with respect to the road’s condition, including the adverse effects that inclement weather often has. Because of this, it turns out that even a motorist who is traveling under the speed limit can be responsible for causing a dangerous speed-related accident. Traveling at a safe speed for a clear, sunny day can translate to deadly speeding on a dark, dreary, rainy day (on the very same stretch of road). In other words, safe speed is always relative. 

California Law

The California law that governs driving speeds says that motorists are responsible for driving at speeds that do not exceed what is reasonable or prudent with regard to all of the following:

  • The effects that the weather has on the road
  • The visibility on the road (which can be decreased by the weather and a wide range of other factors) 
  • The current traffic on the road
  • The surface and width of the road

It is not legal for a motorist to travel at a speed that endangers others’ safety or property – regardless of the conditions or the speed limit. In other words, just because a motorist adheres to the speed limit doesn’t mean that his or her speed isn’t a form of negligence. High winds, fog, and rain can all necessitate a decrease in speed to proceed safely, and motorists who fail to make the necessary adjustments can cause serious accidents.

The Statistics

The Federal Highway Administration shares the following weather-related accident statistics:

  • Of the nearly 6 million vehicle accidents each year, about 21 percent are weather-related.
  • Weather-related accidents cause about 5,000 traffic fatalities and more than 418,000 injuries each year.
  • By far, the largest percentage of weather-related accidents happen during rainfall or on wet pavement.  

An Experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

If a speeding motorist leaves you injured, obtaining the compensation you are entitled to is critical to your ability to heal fully. The dedicated personal injury attorneys at Jahrmarkt & Associates – proudly serving Los Angeles and all surrounding areas – have the experience, resources, and fortitude you seek, so please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 310-226-7676 today.