Dealing with Nevada Car Accidents During Bad Weather

One thing that many residents of Nevada love about the state is the dry climate and abundant sunshine. However, as the seasons change, inclement weather can occur. Parts of Nevada may experience snow and ice, thunderstorms, fog, and dust storms. Winter driving in parts of Nevada may involve driving on roads that are icy or snow-covered.

When hazardous conditions arise, they can contribute to car accidents, especially when drivers fail to adjust their speed to account for the conditions. The most important thing to do when driving in bad weather is to slow down.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver in bad weather, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and accident losses. Contact Sam & Ash Injury Law for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights after a weather-related accident.

What Is a Weather-related Accident?

A weather-related accident is a motor vehicle accident that occurs in adverse weather conditions. Rain, snow, ice, fog, and other types of inclement weather can make roadways hazardous, especially in the mountains surrounding Las Vegas.

Ice on roadways can make it more difficult for a vehicle to maintain traction, especially on bridges, which freeze faster than roads. Rain and occasional flash flooding can cause a motorist to hydroplane if the driver fails to slow down. Fog can prevent drivers from seeing potential road hazards.

Even if you have taken precautions, you may still be seriously injured in a car accident if another motorist acts carelessly while driving in dangerous weather conditions.

Weather-related Accidents Statistics

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHA), about 21 percent of all traffic accidents that occur each year are weather-related. Bad weather plays a role in roughly 1.2 million accidents each year.

The FHA noted that weather-related crashes result in an average of 5,000 fatalities each year, as well as 418,000 injuries. According to the FHA, 70 percent of weather-related accidents occurred on wet pavement, and about 46 percent occurred while it was raining.

Stopping distances on wet roads maybe 2 to 10 times greater than on dry pavement, according to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.

Facts About Weather-related Accidents in Nevada

Nevada has an arid climate and is the driest state in the United States. The dry climate creates ideal conditions for flash flooding to occur, especially during summer thunderstorms. Less than one inch of water on the road can cause a driver to lose control. More than half of flash flood deaths involve auto accidents.

Nevada has the third-highest weather-related fatality rate in the country, according to USA Today. In one particularly bad year, 42 people died and 576 were injured due to hazardous weather including extreme temperatures.

While most weather-related accidents occur on wet pavement during rainfall, other types of inclement weather contribute to car accidents. Snow and sleet are the next most common causes of weather-related accidents, followed by icy pavement, snow, and fog.

Nevada drivers are required to obey all traffic laws and operate their vehicles safely in bad weather conditions. Drivers must use windshield wipers, and should adjust their speed to account for bad weather conditions when necessary. Even if the driver is not exceeding the speed limit, the driver may contribute to a crash by driving too fast for the weather conditions in rain, snow, fog, or ice.

Which Weather Conditions Cause the Most Car Accidents in Nevada?

The most common weather conditions that lead to car accidents in Nevada include:

  • Fog, dust – Fog and blowing dust reduce a driver’s ability to see the road in front of them, making it difficult to identify other vehicles. Reduced visibility often leads to rear-end accidents.
  • Rain – Precipitation can cause slippery roadways and reduced visibility. Wet roads can cause a vehicle to lose traction. When a car hydroplanes, it can spin out of control and collide with other vehicles.
  • High winds – High winds often sweep across the Nevada desert. High winds can create hazardous driving conditions. Objects can also blow into the roadway, and high wind can sometimes bring down roadside powerlines. If a driver fails to exercise caution in high wind, the driver may lose control of their vehicle or collide with debris that has blown into the road.Driving in snowfall
  • Snow and ice – According to the FHA, 70 percent of the roads in the United States are located in areas where snowfall is expected each year, including parts of Nevada. Snow and ice can be extremely dangerous for motorists, causing reduced tire traction. Motorists may have a harder time maneuvering their vehicles and may need to travel at a reduced speed. Studded snow tires may be used in Nevada from October through April.

While inclement weather can contribute to car accidents, driver negligence often plays a role as well. Distracted driving, speeding, driving too fast for weather conditions, and disregarding the rules of the road in hazardous weather conditions can lead to accidents.

Recent Accidents in Nevada Caused by Bad Weather

Weather-related car accidents are common in Nevada. A recent six-vehicle accident in Clark County resulted in nine deaths and one critically injured individual. In total, 15 people were involved in the accident. Although bad weather did not appear to directly contribute to this particular crash, the at-fault party had sped through a red light, colliding into other vehicles.

Another six individuals were injured in a 20-car pileup in Washoe Valley, Nevada. High winds of up to 50 mph and whiteout conditions played a factor in the accident.

In a recent South Lake Tahoe incident, volunteers showed up to help a motorist who was stranded in snowy conditions on a narrow, two-lane dirt road. The driver had been led down the dirt road by her GPS system, which did not take the winter weather conditions into account.

Who Is at Fault for a Car Accident Caused by Weather Conditions?

When the insurance company attempts to determine who was at fault for a car crash, they will examine all potential causes. Even if bad weather played a part in the accident, drivers are required to exercise caution and adjust their driving to accommodate inclement weather.

For example, if a driver hydroplanes on wet pavement, the driver may ultimately be at fault for failing to reduce their speed to maintain control of their car in wet weather conditions. In many cases, the driver who loses control of their vehicle will be held responsible for an accident. If multiple drivers lose control due to bad weather and collide with one another, then the fault might be shared.

Nevada Weather-related Car Accident Attorney

Were you injured in a weather-related car accident in Nevada that was caused by another motorist? The car accident lawyers at Sam & Ash Injury Law have extensive experience representing victims of car accidents in Nevada and helping them seek just compensation to rebuild their lives. We want to use our legal experience to do What’s Right for you.

Contact Sam & Ash Injury Law for a free consultation to discuss your legal options and learn more about how our attorneys can help you.