Fault in Philadelphia Winter Car Accidents, Explained by a Philly Car Accident Lawyer

Winter weather conditions do cause accidents, but does that mean no one is at fault? Not necessarily. Pennsylvania drivers still have the duty to operate their vehicles carefully in response to inclement weather to avoid causing car accidents.

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Over the weekend, a sudden whiteout on Interstate 78 caused a multi-vehicle pileup in Lebanon, County, which is about 90 miles west of Philadelphia, PA. At least 60 vehicles were involved in the crash, including multiple trucks, tractor-trailers, box trucks, buses and other vehicles. The massive multi-vehicle accident left 3 people dead and sent more than 40 people to hospitals. Due to the frigid temperature on Saturday, 70 other motorists were forced to go into a warming shelter after the accident.

According to a passenger on a bus carrying the men’s basketball team from Penn State Lehigh Valley, after the whiteout, visibility was reduced. A FedEx truck started to swerve on the highway in front of the bus, which was then rear-ended by a tractor-trailer.

Winter Weather Related Car Accidents – Who is at Fault?

Though winter weather related conditions, such as heavy snowfall, black ice, etc., make it more difficult for drivers to control their vehicles and may be a factor in causing PA car accidents, it doesn’t mean that drivers are not at fault. A driver may have been driving recklessly for the winter conditions. A driver has to take appropriate precautions when driving during the winter.

For instance, though the road condition is slick and icy, a driver is speeding on the Route 1 in Northeast Philadelphia. He goes over black ice which causes him to lose control of his car. As a result, he causes a head-on collision. The accident could have been avoided if the driver was not speeding. If he was driving slower, his car may not have lost control after going over the black ice.

Here’s another example which shows how careless driving, such as failing to leave a safe following distance, can lead to winter car accidents.  A car may slow down due slick road conditions on a highway in Philadelphia, and a car that is following too closely may not have enough time to slow down. As a result, the car rear-ends the car ahead.

Tips on Avoiding Winter Car Accidents in Pennsylvania

In order to avoid winter car accidents, drivers need to remember to slow down when there is precipitation, even if it’s just light snow. Light snow can actually cause more havoc on the roads than a snowstorm. In addition, below are some tips for drivers this winter:

  • Do not talk on a cell phone while driving.
  • Do not text while driving.
  • Do not input data into a GPS system while driving.
  • Do not check Facebook or Twitter while driving.
  • Keep a safe following distance.

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*Source: www.cnn.com (Deadly I-78 pileup: Dozens of vehicles collide on Pennsylvania highway)