Although northwest Georgia enjoys a relatively moderate winter climate, snow is not uncommon and our roads frequently become slick with freezing rain. According to the U.S. Department of Transporation’s Federal Highway Administration, winter driving can become the most dangerous for cars, trucks and motorcycles. During a typical year, more than 7,000 people are killed on our nation’s roads and more than 650,000 are injured between the months of December and March.
This blog discusses the dangerous road conditions that catch too many drivers by surprise.
If you see ice, be careful. If you don’t see ice, be more careful.
When we know it is snowing or sleeting, most of us have the common sense to slow down. Not everyone, unfortunately. But when the temperature hovers near freezing, condensation from vehicle exhaust can create an invisible danger that is often impossible to see. Drivers in northern states are very familiar with black ice, a razor-thin layer of frost that forms on road surfaces and blends into the color of the asphalt or concrete.
Black ice can be just as slippery as a patch of frozen water or accumulated snow. Surfaces of river bridges and overpasses are especially susceptible because of the cold air circulating beneath the structures. When the day or nighttime temperatures drop below freezing, any moisture on the surface will freeze from below, unlike road surfaces build directly on the land surface.
Motorcycle riders, in particular, face increased danger when braving to ride during the winter months in northwest Georgia.
Liability for winter accidents
Although going into a skid because of black ice or wintery road conditions may seem like an act of God, it won’t be seen that way by the insurance companies in the event of an accident. Drivers may be held liable for compensating injured parties for financial damages, even if it seems there was nothing that could be done to avoid the icy patch. Not preparing to remain in control of your vehicle during winter driving conditions is not an excuse for negligence.
At Gammon, Anderson & McFall, Attorneys at Law, in Cedartown, Georgia, we know that most drivers take precautions and extra care when driving on wet and icy roads during the winter. If you were injured in an accident in northwest Georgia, talk to us about the road and weather conditions that may have been a contributing factor.