The winter storm season in Maine is among the most intense in the United States. Indeed, Maine residents can see upwards of 110 inches of snow per year, depending on which part of the state is their home. Needless to say, all this snow creates a serious hazard for Maine motorists. According to the most recent state government statistics, there are over 6,000 Maine car accidents each year caused by winter driving conditions.
Maine drivers face many potential hazards in the winter, including snow, ice, sleet, and freezing rain, as well as potholes, snowplows, obscured road markings, other motorists driving too fast for the conditions, and uncleared roads and parking lots.
In Maine, motorists have an affirmative obligation to make sure that they are safely operating their vehicles at all times – regardless of the weather conditions. For example, Maine speed limits are designed to be used as a guideline during ideal road conditions. However, during periods of reduced visibility, when it is snowing or raining, or when the temperatures are below freezing, motorists should slow down below the posted speed limit. If a driver fails to reduce their speed according to the weather conditions and causes an accident as a result, they may be liable for any resulting injuries.
Despite the legal duty of other drivers, motorists are encouraged to take preventative action to reduce the chances of being involved in a winter car accident. Below is a list of winter driving tips:
- Clear the car of snow and ice: Not only can an obscured windshield prevent a motorist from seeing all of their surroundings, but also snow and ice left on a car can fall off while driving, creating a hazard for other motorists.
- Keep headlights on: Motorists should always drive with their headlights on during periods of inclement weather to ensure that other drivers can see them.
- Brake gently: Most modern models of cars and trucks have anti-lock brake systems, but brakes will still lock up on slick surfaces. By applying firm and consistent pressure, motorists increase the effectiveness of their brakes and reduce the chances of sliding out.
- Leave room: When driving around other vehicles, motorists should leave ample room on all sides. For example, in winter driving conditions, vehicles take longer to stop, and turn signals may be obscured, so drivers may need additional time to react.
Recovering compensation for a winter car accident may seem like it would be a straightforward process. However, that is rarely the case. Often, insurance companies stand in an accident victim’s way. An insurance company may deny an accident victim’s claim or attempt to settle the claim for far less than the amount of damages sustained by the accident victim. In such cases, an experienced Maine personal injury lawyer can help.
Have You Been Involved in a Car Accident?
If you or someone you love has recently been injured in a Maine car accident, contact the dedicated injury lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates. At our personal injury law firm, we represent victims and their families in all types of claims, including car accident cases. To learn more, call 800-804-2004 to schedule a free consultation today.