Winter hazards: Rain, Snow, and Black Ice

As winter approaches, car accidents are on the rise. Our ICBC lawyers have been receiving numerous calls regarding rear-end collisions. These typically happen when drivers follow the vehicle ahead of them too closely. These accidents happen frequently at the start of winter in Vancouver, as drivers have not yet adapted to the wet roads by slowing down or increasing their following distance.

In addition to the typical west coast rain, Vancouver has recently been going through a cold streak. Whenever there is a possibility of ice on the roads, it is important to slow down and increase your following distance. A common fear of drivers in winter is “black ice” – a layer of ice on the roadway that is too thin to be easily visible, but which can quickly cause a loss of traction. It is important to be careful on all roads when the temperature dips to freezing levels, but it is particularly important to be careful on bridges. Bridges have cold winter air flowing both over and underneath the roadway; as a result, ice can form much more quickly. Additionally, bridges typically have narrower driving lanes; this creates a dangerous situation that can quickly lead to serious accidents.

Many Vancouverites are willing to brave the cold conditions in order to enjoy skiing in the North Shore or at Whistler. If you go often enough, chances are that you’ll face snowy roads. An excellent choice to reduce the chance of losing traction is to obtain winter tires for your vehicle. These tires are specifically designed for colder temperatures and slippery roads. If you do not have proper winter tires, or if the tread has worn too thin, you could be held fully or partially liable in an accident. If this occurs, you could be barred from recovering compensation from your injuries, or your compensation could be reduced.

Despite the precautions taken by prudent drivers, others can still cause accidents. If you find yourself injured in a motor vehicle accident, take down the other driver’s information and call our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.

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