Winter Car Breakdown on Snow

What You Should Know About Winter Driving Accidents in Pennsylvania 

Goldberg, Goldberg & Maloney Jan. 5, 2023

Dealing with a car accident can be a complicated and possibly overwhelming experience. Things can quickly get hectic, from emergency room visits to insurance filings. That is why understanding the details related to a winter driving accident is essential to getting fair compensation in Pennsylvania. At Goldberg, Goldberg & Malone, our attorneys are prepared to work with you, no matter the situation you find yourself in. We serve those in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas. Reach out today for skilled guidance. 

Pennsylvania Is a No-Fault State 

Pennsylvania is known as a “no-fault” state. In other words, drivers involved in an automobile accident must seek compensation through their own insurance policies. Unlike other states, accident victims cannot claim damages and personal injuries against the responsible party’s insurance policy.  

In cases where a victim’s insurance policy is insufficient to cover their expenses, victims can pursue legal accidents against the at-fault party. However, this is a separate legal process where the at-fault party must respond for their liability in the accident. 

It is crucial for folks to know what their insurance policy covers and its coverage limits. Pursuing legal action often takes months, sometimes years, to receive fair compensation following a car accident. 

Liability for Weather-Related Negligent Driving 

In Pennsylvania, liability for car accidents due to snow, ice, and winter weather boils down to negligence. Negligence refers to the inability to follow traffic rules and guidelines pertaining to safety. 

For instance, a vehicle without proper winter tires is an example of negligence. The vehicle owner must equip the vehicle with appropriate winter tread tires before operating the vehicle in snow or ice.  

In this situation, the liability for the car accident falls on the negligent driver. Therefore, the negligent driver is at fault for the accident due to their lack of safety precautions. In addition to a lack of safety precautions, there are other reasons why a driver may be at fault. 

  • Speeding. Speeding is one of the most common causes of car accidents in winter weather. Driving too fast does not allow drivers enough time to safely maneuver to avoid an accident.  

  • Reckless driving. Reckless driving is another common accident cause. Reckless driving may result from switching lanes carelessly, swerving, or braking suddenly. Failing to yield or attempting a risky pass can also be part of reckless driving. 

  • Following too closely. Drivers must leave a safe distance between themselves and the car in front of them. This precaution is especially important in winter weather. As a result, following too closely can be considered negligent driving and can become an accident cause. 

In all of these scenarios, it is important to document the accident in order to prove fault. Failing to document the accident properly can make it challenging to prove the at-fault party’s liability reasonably. 

What Are Winter Car Safety Laws and Driving Tips? 

Pennsylvania winter car safety laws boil down to negligence. Some ways to avoid negligence on winter roads include the following:  

  • Turn headlights on low, especially during bad weather. 

  • Remove ice and snow from windows and lights. 

  • Use appropriate winter tires. 

  • Carry chains as a safety precaution. 

  • Maintain a safe distance.  

  • Above all, avoid drinking and driving. 

Following these safety regulations is important to have safe vehicle operation. Additional ways to further ensure vehicle safety include the following tips: 

  • Always carry a winter emergency kit, including blankets and flashlights. 

  • Follow weather bulletins and advisories. 

  • Keep the gas tank at least half-full. 

  • Beware of wet-looking roads, as this could be a sign of black ice. 

  • Always carry a fully charged cellphone. 

  • Avoid traveling in bad weather conditions. 

  • Avoid using cruise control on slick or icy roads.  

  • Do not park or abandon vehicles. 

  • If stranded, it is best to stay close to the vehicle and call for help. 

These practical recommendations can help keep everyone safe on the road during winter weather conditions. 

Finding the Right Personal Injury Lawyer in Pennsylvania 

At Goldberg, Goldberg & Maloney, we strive to help our clients get the fair compensation they deserve. If you feel that you have not gotten the compensation you deserve, contact us today. We are professional personal injury attorneys ready to take your call.