One rule of staying safe on Arkansas roads is to expect the unexpected. We may know when traffic will be backed up due to roadside construction. We may be aware of that pothole or confusing intersection we encounter during our daily travels.
Sometimes, drivers can be taken by surprise by adverse weather conditions, poor visibility, or sudden changes in traffic. Drivers can't avoid encountering environmental factors, but can they avoid causing a crash by using caution, staying attentive, and reducing their speed.
How hazardous conditions are created
It must first be noted that environmental factors do not cause crashes. They can, however, contribute to them by creating hazardous conditions. Here are some examples how:
- Slippery road conditions can increase the amount of time and distance it takes to stop
- Roadway debris and potholes can create swerve risks or tire blowouts
- Heavy rain and fog can reduce visibility
- Sharp curves can increase the risk of rollovers and head-on collisions
- Confusing intersections can increase the risk of T-bone crashes or head-on collisions
How does human error play a role?
It takes keen attentiveness and driving skill to safely navigate through environmental factors. The real cause of crashes during hazardous conditions is human error. Here are some examples:
- Using a cellphone while approaching a construction zone or intersection
- Exceeding the posted speed limit during foggy conditions or when driving around a sharp curve
- Failing to slow down during adverse weather conditions
- Over-steering or swerving too hard to avoid hitting road debris
How can THIS complicate my car accident claim?
Environmental factors are always included in crash reports that are put together by police. For example, your crash report would include the weather or road conditions at the time of the crash.
You should be very cautious when filing a car accident claim. Stick to the basic facts when reporting the details of your crash to your insurance company. If the at-fault driver's insurance company tries to contact you, don't answer any questions they have. Simply tell them that you would like to speak to an attorney.
When environmental factors are involved in a crash, insurance companies can argue that the weather or road conditions were the cause. They do this to shift the blame away from the at-fault driver and downplay your claim. They may even try to shift the blame onto you.
Your crash needs to be investigated by an experienced attorney who can find evidence that the other driver was negligent. This may include electronic records of cellphone use, tire marks in the road, and other details found in the police report.