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Icy roads can cause fatal accidents

During the winter months, it is not uncommon for drivers in West Virginia to encounter icy or snow covered roads. Though drivers may be exposed to such conditions quite frequently, they should still be aware of road safety in order to avoid fatal accidents during winter weather conditions. Failure to adjust driving for inclement weather could be considered negligent or reckless and could cause a serious or even fatal crash.

How often are icy roads a culprit for fatal crashes? According to a recent report compiled of data from reported fatal incidents, there were at least 477 deaths during the 2008-2009 winter season due to icy roads. The following winter season, roughly 450 fatalities occurred due to icy roads.

While it is common for winter weather conditions to impact driving abilities in the northern states, it is important that all drivers are aware of icy road safety. This is also true for states that rarely see snow and ice covered roads because it is more likely that motorists there are not educated on how to handle their vehicle if it begins to slide.

When a car accident occurs in winter conditions, it is important that accident victims understand whether another driver could be at fault. For example, even if a road is covered in snow or ice, if a driver is driving too fast for the conditions, loses control, and causes a wreck, then he or she may be held liable for any resulting damages.

Accident investigation is crucial in any type of accident, but when icy roads are involved it can be even more pivotal. Therefore, accident victims or loved ones of the deceased should ensure they do everything they can to ensure the process is thorough and that they are aware of their legal rights. By speaking with an experienced attorney, these individuals may be able to file a claim and, if successful, recover much needed compensation to help address their physical, emotional, and financial losses.

Source: Icy Road Safety, "Icy Road Fatality Statistics," accessed Feb. 3, 2015

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Stephen P. New, Attorney at Law
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Beckley, WV 25801

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