Not Quite a Winter Wonderland: Snow and Your ICBC Claim

As you may have already noticed this morning, the first snowfall of the season is wreaking havoc on the streets of the lower mainland. As an area known mostly for our rain, drivers can be ill-equipped to handle the snow on the roads. ICBC offers a few safety tips for driving in the snow:

  • Make sure your tires are rated for the conditions you’ll be driving in this winter. Check your tire pressure regularly – pressure drops in cold weather and overinflated tires can reduce gripping.
  • When severe winter conditions arrive, consider alternatives – take public transit if possible, carpool with a confident driver whose vehicle is equipped for the conditions, take a taxi, work from home or wait until the road crews have cleared major roads. Sometimes the best option is to leave the car at home.
  • Consider using your headlights whenever weather is poor and visibility is reduced – not only at night – to help you see ahead and be seen by other drivers. Keep in mind that daytime running lights usually don’t activate your taillights too.
  • Clear off any snow that’s built up on your vehicle’s headlights and wheel wells before driving; it can affect your ability to see and steer.
  • In poor weather, use extreme caution when approaching highway maintenance vehicles on the road and never pass on the right. Be patient and maintain a safe following distance – these vehicles throw up snow and spray which can make it difficult to see. If you notice a vehicle stopped on the side of the road with flashing red, blue or yellow lights, you’re required to slow down and move over.

However, even the most prepared driver can’t anticipate the moves of other drivers on the road, and it’s important to know your rights if you’ve been in an accident. In a recent decision, the courts confirmed that a driver was liable for the plaintiff’s injuries when he sped past in the left lane, blanketing the plaintiff’s car in snow and causing him to crash.

There are other complications involving bad weather accidents, and the defence of “inevitable accident” may apply; i.e., even though the defendant was driving safely for the conditions, the accident would have happened. It’s important to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries. Furthermore, even if you’re the only vehicle involved, you may be entitled to Part 7 benefits.

John Mickelson Law Corporation can help you acquire financial assistance and medical treatment. Our winter accident lawyers have the experience needed to help you get properly compensated for your personal injury claim. Call us at (604) 684-0040 for a free consultation in our Vancouver, Surrey or Abbotsford offices.

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