Weather conditions, especially during the Ohio winter months, can negatively affect driver performance and crash risk. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), there are an average of 5,748,000 vehicle crashes each year, 22 percent of which are weather-related. Approximately 6,000 fatalities and 445,000 injuries are attributable to adverse weather conditions.
The FHA reports that 73 percent of these crashes occur on wet pavement, 46 percent occur during rainfall, 17 percent occur during snow or sleet, 14 percent take place on snowy or slushy pavement, 13 percent happen on icy pavement and three percent occur when fog is present. Arterial mobility and roadway capacity may also be reduced due to road closures and access restrictions that are often associated with adverse weather conditions.
However, despite the need to take proper precautions in these precarious conditions, drivers may still be involved in a car accident due another driver’s negligence or recklessness. Drivers may be particularly distracted around the holidays and can cause car wrecks involving catastrophic injuries or fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 3,477 people were killed by distracted driving in 2015 alone.
Rear-end collisions are also common during the winter due to icy, slippery roads. Texting and driving, driving drowsy or driving drunk can increase the risk of getting in a rear-end collision or other type of car accident. Negligent or reckless drivers who cause car accidents may be liable for the victim’s injuries in the form of medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering.