The risk of personal injury rises in winter due to holiday parties where alcohol in consumed and winter conditions like snow, ice and slush that increase the risk of car accidents and slip and fall accidents.
The risk of being in a car accident increases in cold / winter weather for several reasons:
- Snow, slush and ice on the roads. Black ice* in particular is very dangerous because it cannot be seen.
- Many car owners do not equip their vehicles with winter tires or let their tires’ tread become bare.
- Lack of experience or caution while driving in winter conditions
- More darkness decreases visibility
- Winter storms** decrease visibility
*Black ice is created on the road after a heavy snowfall overnight. With the sun rise comes an increase in temperature and the snow melts to water. If the water has nowhere to drain it remains and the roads / sidewalks and re-freezes into a transparent layer over the road / sidewalk when night fall hits again. For this reason black ice is responsible for an increase in both car accidents and slip and fall personal injuries.
**Ice and snow storms increase personal injuries by blanketing outdoor surfaces with ice and snow. During the storm visibility is dramatically decreased, making it very difficult to see clearly while driving. Even after the storm has ended there is a risk of trees and power lines falling from the weight of the ice and snow. If a person is struck by a tree branch or power line there is a risk of serious injury including traumatic brain injury and electrocution. It is best to avoid going outside in the middle of a winter storm.
Winter weather slip and fall accidents
Slippery parking lots and sidewalks are very common in the winter. With snow, ice and slush on the ground the risk of a slip and fall accident increases dramatically. Businesses and governments have a responsibility to clear and salt ice from their roads, parking lots and sidewalks so that pedestrians don’t slip and fall on their property.
Winter weather and drunk driving accidents
People tend to drink more in cold weather but particularly in November at Thanksgiving and throughout December at holiday parties and New Year’s Eve. The more people becoming intoxicated, the more there is risk for drivers getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. This decision dramatically increases the risk of car accidents. Always plan to have a designated driver when attending a holiday party.
If you or a loved one was injured in a winter weather related accident due to the actions of a drunk driver or the failure of a business or government agency to clear ice from their roads or sidewalks you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and more. Contact a personal injury lawyer today; he or she may be able to help you get a settlement and help you get back to enjoying the holidays.
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