When a driver has low visibility, it is an accident waiting to happen. We need to be able to entirely see our surroundings in order to safely navigate them, especially when other drivers are around. This is one of the reasons why our vehicles comes equipped with windshield wipers.
As of April 2nd of this year, General Motors is recalling over 680,000 SUVs due to a defect in the windshield wipers. The ball joints connecting them could easily corrode or wear away with normal use, leading to wipers falling off entirely for a number of drivers. Aside from the obvious safety concerns regarding wipers failing and flying while someone is actively driving, the mere fact that some drivers were on roads without working windshield wipers is its own danger. Wipers are essential to safely driving any vehicle — even some motorcycles have windshield wipers — as they are there to make sure inclement weather or other debris can’t block a driver’s line of sight.
How dangerous is bad weather for Chattanooga drivers?
It is fairly common knowledge that drivers need to see in order to drive safely. What isn’t common knowledge, however, is just how often low-visibility car accidents occur around the country. While all cars should have windshield wipers, bad enough weather can render them useless — especially if the weather in question is a heavy fog. Each year, almost 40,000 vehicle crashes occur in low-visibility weather situations like fog and heavy precipitation.
As dangerous as low visibility itself can be, it is even deadlier when weather conditions make the road itself more difficult to drive on. This is why news services may advise people to avoid unnecessary travel during these events. Ice and rain reduce friction and make it more difficult to keep a vehicle from skidding or stopping in time, and wind can push top-heavy or especially small cars off-course. When all these factors are combined with an inability to properly see the road, of course an accident occurs. Even though drivers largely know to slow down and proceed with caution during inclement weather, there is only so much that can be done when they cannot even see — aside from not driving at all.
Tennessee drivers are not immune to these phenomena. Any time the weather gets bad in our state, the driving conditions reflect this. Crashes increase, traffic backs up, roads close. In fact, back in January of this year, multiple weather-related crashes happened across multiple roadways, and many of them included flipped semis and multi-vehicle collisions. Some of them had both, notably a specific nine-car pileup that had two large commercial vehicles involved, and it can be easy to see how weather and low visibility worked together to create such chaos. If you cannot see, you do not know what you should slow down for, and ice on the road makes sure you cannot slow down even if you wanted to.
Common serious injuries caused by low-visibility car accidents
Since many of these collisions happen at highway speeds, many of them result in life-altering (or ending) injuries that victims carry around in some manner for the rest of their lives. Plenty of factors contribute to the severity and type of sustained injuries aside from just visibility and weather conditions, though, and understanding them all can help you avoid some before they happen. For example, some factors include whether you are wearing a seatbelt, which part of the vehicle was struck, the speed of the collision, if your head was turned or facing forward, and the existence of airbags. Even though every situation is different and may have different contributing factors, there are commonalities in the injuries people usually get from high speed, poor weather collisions:
- Traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, skull fractures, and other traumas that may lead to life-long disability and pain
- Spinal cord injuries, which could result in partial or total paralysis
- Broken or shattered bones
- Loss of limb or amputations if a limb is crushed and unable to be saved
- Burn injuries
Any one of these alone can be devastating, but most car accidents do not result in only one type of injury. This means that some victims have to cope with two or more of the above injuries at the same time. Aside from the obvious pain and suffering, both physically and emotionally, from such trauma, victims also have to worry about financially affording their own treatment. Severe enough injuries can require years and years of medication, therapies, surgeries, treatments, and other accommodations. Not only that, but since Tennessee is a modified comparative fault state, the other party(s) involved may try to avoid taking responsibility by attempting to put the blame on you. Their success means they do not have to pay for your suffering, and you have to pay for theirs.
That is why, if you are involved in a low-visibility car accident, your first step after seeking medical attention should be finding a trustworthy Chattanooga personal injury attorney who is skilled at protecting and advocating for your rights, so you can focus on rest and recovery. The right representation can study the specifics of your case and make it as airtight as possible, while also aggressively pursuing those responsible for your pain. You deserve to be compensated, wholly and completely, for what another’s negligence has done to you. The other factors involved may not have helped the situation, but at the end of the day, there is no acceptable reason to cause a car accident.
The Chattanooga car accident attorneys at Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law will work with you every step of the way, answering your questions and making the entire legal process as simple as possible for your benefit. We are happy to help you and your family move past this trauma in every and any way we can, and we work with clients in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, North Georgia, and the surrounding areas. For a free consultation, do not hesitate to call us at 423-756-7923 or use our contact form.