Winter can hit Michigan with intense and unpredictable fury sometimes. Even in years where snowfall is lower than average or temperatures are higher than normal, it seems like there’s at least one severe snowstorm.
The heavier winter storms often bring with them a significant increase in motor vehicle collisions. Although there are ways that people can adjust their driving to improve their safety in snowy and icy conditions, many people do not do so. This failure can put everyone on the road at risk.
Just because the weather is bad doesn’t mean that drivers aren’t still responsible for causing collisions. While the weather may provide someone with an excuse for a collision, it does not absolve them of their financial and legal culpability for irresponsible driving.
Driving habits should reflect road conditions
Snow storms do more than create low visibility and generate the potholes you have to dodge all year-round. They make the roads slick and dangerous. Reducing your speed is the best response. In order to travel safely, a driver should give themselves more time to reach their destination. Leaving earlier and traveling more slowly is a better option in slick conditions.
Traveling at high speeds can prove dangerous, as you may not be able to stop in time on a snowy road. Snow happens every single year in Michigan, so drivers should understand how to adjust their habits appropriately. From turning on their lights during light snow storms to packing sunglasses to help them withstand the glare of sun on sparkling snow, there are a host of winter driving habits that should be common practice across the state.
Unfortunately, some people try to drive in the same manner year-round. They may speed across the slickest surfaces and leave very little time for their commute during winter storms. These individuals could put others at risk and may eventually cause a crash.
Getting justice after a bad driver crashes with you in bad weather
When someone causes a crash with another vehicle, the result is often injury to people in the other vehicle or property damage. Under Michigan state law, drivers who injure others or cause property damage through negligent driving practices can wind up accountable financially and legally for the damages they caused.
Neither the courts nor law enforcement are likely to take excuses about bad weather seriously in such a situation. They will reasonably expect that drivers maintain control over their vehicles and change how they drive to reflect weather and road conditions. Those who fail to drive safely in winter weather could find themselves facing a court order to pay damages to the other party involved in the crash they caused.
When it snows, drive safely. Be on the lookout for anyone else driving irresponsibly and try to avoid them, if possible.