Accidents Caused By Bad Weather

Accidents Caused by Bad Weather in Pennsylvania

Bad weather can be very dangerous when driving, especially when you consider how unpredictable the weather in Pennsylvania can be sometimes. In fact, a very large percentage of car accidents in Pennsylvania are caused by various bad weather conditions including snow, heavy rain, and fog. Ultimately, if you experience an accident due to bad weather, the key factor in determining liability is negligence. This is usually determined by asking the question: was the driver acting in a way one would expect a reasonable person, under similar circumstances, to act? This means one is expected to exercise extra caution when driving under poor weather conditions.

What does it mean to be a reasonable driver?

The standard in Pennsylvania for what is reasonable and what is not varies depending on the particular circumstances under which one is driving. For example, on a bright clear day with little traffic, one would expect a reasonable person to drive at or near the speed limit. On the other hand, if visibility is low or the roads are wet, one would expect a reasonable driver to go well below the speed limit. Of course, as you may already be able to tell, the determination of whether one was acting negligently or not is very subjective.

What if both drivers were negligent?

If both drivers are determined to have been acting negligently, the outcome would vary from state to state. In some states liability would be assigned in proportion with responsibility. For example, if a driver is 40% at fault for an accident, then they would only be responsible for 40% of the damages. In other states, only the driver with the majority of fault assigned to them would be liable.

Effects of Bad Weather

  • Lower Visibility – In extreme cases, severe fog can reduce visibility to under 100 feet.
  • Lane Obstruction – Piled up snow or debris blown on to the roads by wind can be a major source of danger
  • Slippery Roads – Wet pavement is responsible for over 70% of weather-related car accidents nationwide
  • Reduced Braking Distance – Wet roads can significantly increase the distance it takes for your vehicle to come to a complete stop.

If you experience a car accident in Pennsylvania due to poor weather conditions, contact Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers today.


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