How Weather Contributes to Vehicle Accidents

Personal injury Lawyer Matt Arnold answers the question: “I was involved in a motor vehicle accident with injuries. Do I need a lawyer?”

Accidents happen quickly, and when they do, they can result in devastating injuries and damages. There may be more than one factor that contributes to a crash. In some cases, weather plays a part in the cause of a crash. Inclement weather can result in situations that are dangerous. Weather interacts with road conditions to make driving difficult or hazardous. When road conditions are dangerous, drivers need to take special precautions or stay off the roadways to avoid accidents.



Conditions That Impact Driving

There are a number of weather conditions that might impact a driver’s ability to maneuver or see on the roads. The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, cites various conditions that are known to cause or contribute to traffic accidents. Weather conditions such as fog, rain, snow, ice, high winds, and temperature extremes can have a negative impact on driving maneuverability, stability, and traction.


  • Fog – Fog can drastically reduce visibility. On a normal, clear day, visibility is about three miles. When fog hits, it can limit visibility to mere feet. Some of the worst pile-up accidents were the result of severe patches of dense fog. Fog often forms in the early morning hours and may dissipate in the sun.
  • Rain – When rain is severe, it can come down very strongly. Heavy rain can limit visibility, even when you have the windshield wipers on high. Rain often causes the roads to become slick. This can happen even in times of minor rain or mist when the moisture mixes with road oils to cause slippery surfaces. Rain can also cause a situation called hydroplaning. When a vehicle hydroplanes, the wheels are not touching the road surface but are instead gliding on the rain. The driver has little control over a hydroplaning car.
  • Floods – Flooding can seriously impair roadways, especially in low-lying areas. Many times, flooding happens when the ground and sewer systems cannot handle a large influx of rain at once. Just a few inches of water can lift a vehicle up and carry it away. Flood waters can run very quickly and rise fast, leaving drivers stranded or worse.
  • Snow and Ice – Even a small amount of snow or ice can greatly impact the road surface. Icy roads no longer have any place where tires can grip the pavement. The result is an uncontrolled slide. Black ice is relatively invisible and occurs under areas of snow and in places where the pavement is wet and then freezes. A driver may suddenly encounter ice and lose control, especially when traveling too fast.
  • Sun and Glare – Drivers can encounter conditions that impair driving, even on sunny days. When the sun is positioned in a place where the driver cannot block it out, the result is a dangerous inability to see the road. Glare and sun might keep you from seeing cars ahead and can lead to very serious collisions.


What Drivers Need to Know About Weather Conditions

Weather conditions cause or contribute to about 21% of all vehicle accidents. Drivers need to make sure they can maintain control of their vehicles at all times, even when the weather is adverse. Drivers should stay off the roads during severe inclement weather conditions. If you encounter an adverse weather condition that makes driving dangerous, pull over and wait. Do not attempt to drive through flooded roadways. Don’t speed, particularly when visibility is low. Remember that drivers are still responsible for their vehicles and could be held liable if they were negligent.


If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident, do not delay. Contact our attorneys for help getting the money you need for your medical bills and other damages. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video, phone or in-person consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.






The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.



How Do Weather Events Impact Roads? – FHWA Road Weather Management (

Hydroplaning – What It Is & What To Do If Your Car Hyrdroplanes (


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crash car Free Photo Download | FreeImages


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