Your Snowstorm Safety Net
By Joe Nichols February 9, 2021
Your Snowstorm Safety Net
There are times when you just have to go out in a snowstorm. And no one knows that better than us: residents of the North Country of New York! Maybe you’re running low on food; or maybe you’ve been called out to help a family member pick up their medication. Whatever the situation may be, there is no doubt that our North Country roads are full of drivers ready to challenge the whiteout conditions of heavy snowfall, from Gouverneur, Canton and Potsdam to Malone, Saranac Lake and Plattsburgh.
Whether you’ve been driving for 2 years, or 22 years, being the victim of a rear-end car accident is a terrible and frightening experience, one that becomes more likely during snowstorms. You might be the most careful driver in Malone, but what about the person closing in behind you? They may be responsible for causing you, or your loved ones, a great deal of suffering for which you are entitled to compensation.
During your free consultation with one of our attorneys, we will discuss the accident in detail. Your lawyer will need to know how fast you were going and whether the road was visible in front of you. These are two very important questions as they help the Court determine how severe the weather was, and if you acted with common sense when faced with it.
This is how the New York Practice Guide on Negligence defines responsible driving during a blizzard:
Speed Limit: No matter what speed limit is posted for the road you are driving on, do not exceed 55 miles per hour during a snowstorm. Do not even get close to it!! At the same time, do not drive so slowly that you are holding up traffic and risk causing an accident yourself. Fortunately, there are very few streets in Northern New York that advertise a speed limit over 55; however, keep in mind that this law applies to highways, freeways, and throughways as well.
Visibility: If you cannot see the road in front of you, stay home! You MUST be able to see where your car will end up when fully stopped. This means that, if the snow is flying in front of your windshield so thick that the pavement ahead is whited out, it is illegal to hit the brake. Keep in mind that other drivers need time, and distance, to adjust to your decisions; this is impossible to do if their vision is compromised by weather. If you can’t see the road, they can’t either.
For your own safety, remember these laws this winter. They are meant to protect you, and others, from serious harm. Should you be involved in a car accident this Winter, call our law firm for a free consultation.
Call us anytime. We can help.