Every driver has the duty to drive his or her vehicle in a reasonably safe way. This duty is important for preventing auto accidents and injuries on the roads and highways. However, when a driver fails to meet this duty and causes a collision and injury, he or she can be deemed negligent by the court and can be held liable for any losses suffered by the accident victims.
The duty to be reasonably safe behind the wheel can mean a lot of things. For example, it almost always means that a driver should follow all traffic safety laws and rules of the road, as well as obey all traffic signals and stop signs. However, drivers are also expected to use their judgment to avoid potentially dangerous behaviors that are not expressly against any particular law. These can include distracted driving, fatigued driving and more. One such behavior that can be negligent is driving dangerously in adverse weather conditions.
Winter Accidents In Wisconsin
Winter storms can be severe in Wisconsin and can substantially affect traffic and road conditions, which can therefore lead to collisions. According to the Wisconsin Emergency Management Team, the following have occurred over the past five years:
- An average of 18, 000 total traffic collisions;
- Over 4, 700 injuries to motorists; and
- An average of 45 fatalities related to winter weather collisions.
Many of these accidents and injuries occur because drivers simply do not take proper care in the ice or snow. Though the speed limit may say 50 miles per hour on a certain road, that speed is likely appropriate for clear weather and road conditions. If there is snow or ice, drivers should use their judgment and determine whether the posted speed limit is too fast to remain safe. If drivers cannot drive safely at the speed limit, then they should take it upon themselves to slow down. However, a driver may not avoid liability in a winter weather collision just because he or she was driving within the posted speed limit.
Discuss Your Accident with a Qualified Wisconsin Auto Accident Lawyer Today
The experienced Appleton car accident attorneys at Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., located in northeast Wisconsin, are familiar with the dangers of negligent driving in winter weather and in handling personal injury cases that arise from the resulting collisions. We fully understand the legal duties of drivers in adverse weather conditions and will stand up for the rights of victims injured in accidents caused by careless drivers. We are committed to helping our clients obtain the best results possible in their cases and we offer free consultations if you would like to find out more about how we can help you. Our offices are located in Appleton, Green Bay and Oshkosh. Please do not hesitate to call 920-739-7366 for assistance.