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What You Should Know About Winter Driving Accidents

On Behalf of | Dec 31, 2022 | Car Accidents, Firm News

Driving during winter can be difficult and may easily expose drivers to the risks of traffic accidents and road mishaps. Unfavorable weather conditions can cause reduced traction or limited visibility, making driving generally unsafe. According to statistics from Icy Road Safety, there are over 28,000 winter vehicle crashes in Illinois annually. If you were injured in an accident caused by winter conditions, you may be entitled to recover damages through an injury claim or lawsuit.

At Marker & Crannell, Attorneys at Law, we have the skills and resources to guide, support, and represent victims of winter driving accidents in their injury claims. Our trusted Illinois personal injury attorneys will fight diligently to protect your rights, hold the responsible party accountable, and help pursue fair financial compensation for your injuries and damages. Our firm is proud to represent clients across Naperville, Lisle, Aurora, Bolingbrook, Wheaton, Romeoville, and Joliet, Illinois.

Illinois Is a Fault State

Illinois is an at-fault auto insurance state. This means that the party who caused the winter driving accident (the at-fault party) will be held financially and civilly liable for medical expenses, property damages, and other accident-related losses suffered by the victims. In order to recover damages, the claimant can proceed by:

  • Filing a claim with their own insurance provider
  • Filing a third-party claim against the at-fault party’s insurer
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in civil court

A knowledgeable car accident attorney can evaluate every aspect of your unique situation, help establish liability, and determine the best way to proceed with your personal injury claims.

Liability for Weather-Related Negligent Behavior

Seeking damages in Illinois after a winter driving accident often requires the victim or plaintiff to prove negligence or establish liability. In a weather-related accident, any of the actions below may be considered negligence:

  • Reckless or careless driving
  • Speeding
  • Following too closely
  • Aggressive driving
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Distracted driving

Unfortunately, driving negligently or carelessly during the winter may result in a traffic accident. In order to recover damages, the claimant must show that:

  • The at-fault party owed you a legal duty of care.
  • The at-fault party breached their expected duty of care by acting negligently.
  • The at-fault party’s breach or negligence caused your injuries.
  • You suffered bodily injury, actual harm, or other losses from the winter driving accident.

A trusted lawyer can enlighten you about car safety laws in Illinois, investigate all of the facts of your case, and seek to establish liability.

Illinois Car Safety Laws

Here are some crucial car safety laws affecting motor vehicle drivers in Illinois:

Chain Law

According to Illinois Vehicle Code, tire chain usage is allowed for snow, ice, hazardous weather, or other related conditions that may cause wet or slippery roads. However, the tire chain should be used in a way that doesn’t damage the highway surface.

Minimum Tire Tread

In Illinois, the minimum required tire tread is 3/32 of an inch. According to state laws, it is prohibited to sell or offer for sale or highway use any pneumatic tire, or any car equipped with a pneumatic tire, that has a depth of tread groove less than 3/32 of an inch. Motorcycles and trucks follow a different protocol.

Tips for Driving in Winter Weather

If you plan to drive during the winter season, you should adhere to these safety tips:

  • Carry out an in-depth inspection of your brakes, battery, hoses, and belts before the winter season.
  • Ensure that you drive carefully and slowly.
  • Reduce your speed to the conditions of the road.
  • Remove snow and ice from your vehicle.
  • Avoid using cruise control anytime you drive in the snow and ice.
  • Always turn your headlights on when driving during winter.
  • Do not pass between large trucks in a snowplow formation.
  • Beware of plowing and spreading trucks.
  • Beware of overpasses, slick bridges, and exit ramps.
  • Be conscious of your immediate surroundings.
  • Lastly, keep an emergency kit in your vehicle, such as a snow shovel, cellphone charger, booster cables, snacks, flashlight, water, gloves, blanket, and medications.

If you or someone you know was involved in a winter driving accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to get in touch with a practiced personal injury attorney right away. Your legal counsel can fight for your rights and help you seek the financial justice you deserve.

Experienced and Aggressive Legal Counsel

Have you been injured in a winter driving accident? Our skilled legal team will fight vigorously for your rights, hold the liable party responsible, and help you pursue your rightful financial compensation. Contact Marker & Crannell, Attorneys at Law today to schedule a simple case evaluation with seasoned auto accident lawyers. We can offer you the personalized legal counsel and strong representation you need in your claims. Our firm proudly serves clients across Naperville, Lisle, Aurora, Bolingbrook, Wheaton, Romeoville, and Joliet, Illinois.