Weather-related car accidents kill thousands of people each year and injure many more. Although Newport Beach isn’t known for bad weather, the region does experience adverse weather conditions, including fog, high winds, and rain.
If you have been injured in a car accident during adverse weather conditions in Newport Beach, you may assume you have no legal recourse to seek compensation for your injuries. But many weather-related car accidents occur due to other motorists’ failure to reduce their speed during adverse weather. A car accident lawyer in Newport Beach can help you explore your legal options for seeking financial recovery.
At Sam & Ash Injury Law, we believe you deserve What’s Right if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s carelessness in an accident. Being represented by an attorney who truly cares about you makes a difference. When you turn to our Newport Beach law firm after an accident, we take the time to get to know you on a first-name basis so we can pursue an outcome that best serves your needs and goals.
We stand by your side during the entire claims process so you never feel alone or in the dark. In addition to serving our clients, we believe in giving back to the community, having supported numerous charitable and community-focused efforts in Newport Beach.
If you have been involved in a weather-related car accident in Newport Beach, contact Sam & Ash Injury Law today for a no-obligation case evaluation. Learn about how we can help you seek the fair compensation you need.
What Is a Weather-related Accident?
A weather-related accident includes any motor vehicle crash that happens in adverse weather conditions, such as rain, fog, or high winds. It also includes auto accidents that occur due to hazardous driving conditions, including slick road surfaces or blowing sand, dust, or debris.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, about one-fifth of the approximately six million motor vehicle accidents that occur nationwide each year are weather-related. Weather-related vehicle accidents lead to an average of about 5,000 deaths and more than 400,000 injuries each year. This represents about 16 percent of all crash fatalities and 19 percent of crash injuries.
What Weather Conditions Cause the Most Car Accidents in Newport Beach?
Although Newport Beach and Southern California are famous for year-round pleasant weather, adverse weather can be a factor that drivers encounter at times.
Examples of weather conditions that can cause car crashes in Newport Beach include the following:
- Fog – Fog can reduce driver visibility and create a disorienting effect from vehicle headlights. Driving in heavy fog is extremely dangerous because of the lack of ability to see other vehicles.
- Rain – Rain can reduce visibility and make road surfaces slick. Newport Beach can go long periods without rainstorms. When rain does fall, it can bring motor oil that leaks from vehicles up to the surface and make roads slick. Heavy rain can also create a thin layer of water on a dry road surface. This creates conditions for cars to hydroplane, which occurs when a car’s tires lose traction with the road surface.
- High winds – Heavy wind can make vehicles such as SUVs and trucks more difficult to control. It can also kick up sand and dust, greatly reducing visibility. Winds can also blow objects into the roadway, potentially causing drivers to suddenly veer into another lane to avoid a collision.
Types of Weather-related Hazards
Some driving hazards that frequently involve adverse weather in Newport Beach include:
- Poor visibility
- Standing water on road surfaces
- Slick road surfaces
- Difficulty Keeping the vehicle in the travel lane
- Objects blown into the roadway
- Potholes or broken pavement
- Road and lane closures
- Higher traffic density as drivers travel more slowly in adverse weather
The Federal Highway Administration reports about 70 percent of weather-related accidents happen on wet pavement. Another three percent of weather-related accidents occur in fog.
Tips for Avoiding Weather-related Car Accidents in Newport Beach
There are precautions you can take to reduce the chances of car accidents caused by bad weather conditions in Newport Beach:
- Pay attention – Distracted driving poses a major danger to everyone on the road. Be sure you’re giving all your attention to driving.
- Slow down – You should adjust your speed in low visibility or slick road conditions. You will need more time to slow down, stop, or avoid a hazard on the road.
- Leave space – You should increase your following distance to the vehicles in front of you. This will give you more time to brake or maneuver if the vehicle ahead slows suddenly.
- Maneuver safely – Exercise extra caution at intersections, when turning or changing lanes, and on bridges or overpasses. Use your blinker to let other drivers know your intention to turn. Avoid making any sudden maneuvers or actions, such as quickly darting into another lane.
- Use your lights – Turn on your low beam headlights when it rains or in other low visibility conditions.
- Avoid using cruise control – Visibility conditions and slick road surfaces can confuse your car’s computer and lead to unintended acceleration or loss of control.
- Know how to recover from a skid – If your car begins to skid on a slick road surface, you should ease your foot off the accelerator while gradually turning the wheel in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go. Do not step back on the gas until you’ve regained full control of the vehicle. Braking hard while in a skid can cause your vehicle to spin out of control or rollover.
- Maintain your vehicle – Make sure everything is functioning properly. This includes checking your tire tread, tire pressure, wipers, and lights regularly.
Who Is at Fault for Weather-related Car Accidents?
Some careless drivers disregard adverse weather conditions and drive at the speeds that they would drive on a clear day. This can lead to a crash. You may be able to hold a driver liable for your injuries and property damage in a weather-related car crash in certain cases.
While weather conditions may reduce visibility or make road surfaces slick enough to lose control of a car, the driver may be held liable if their careless driving in these conditions caused them to lose control. Drivers must exercise caution when operating their vehicles in adverse weather or hazardous road conditions.
For example, if a driver was speeding or weaving in and out of traffic in heavy rain or fog, that behavior might make them at fault if they get into an accident. A driver who drove their vehicle in a reckless manner may be at fault, even if the weather contributed to the accident.
A driver also may be held at fault for a weather-related car accident if the accident can be attributed to their failure to properly maintain their car. If a hydroplaning accident would not have occurred if the car owner had replaced worn-out tires or brakes, the driver may be found liable for injuries to others.
Other parties such as road construction companies or state and local governments may be at fault for weather-related car accidents caused by inadequately maintaining the roadway or leaving debris on or near the road that may get kicked up in a windstorm.
Call a Newport Beach Weather-related Car Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a weather-related car accident in Newport Beach, you may have legal options for pursuing compensation for the harm you have suffered. A Newport Beach weather-related car accident attorney can help you explore your options for holding the other driver accountable and seeking compensation for your losses.
Contact Sam & Ash Injury Law today for a free initial consultation to discuss what we can do to help you get back on your feet after a serious weather-related car accident.