We’ve had our first real snow storm of the year and have already seen tragedies in the form of snow plow accidents. Snow plows were involved in both motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents in Massachusetts over this past weekend. As we continue through the winter and experience more inclement weather, it’s important to be aware of snow plow dangers and take steps to avoid them.
Causes of Snow Plow Accidents
Just like any other type of accident, snow plow accidents can have various causes including slippery roads, reduced visibility, and distractions. Slippery roads are a common culprit, especially early in the season before people adjust their driving habits for changed conditions. Speed is another contributing factor. The reality is, that we all need to slow down when driving in winter. Add this to reduced visibility during snow storms and it’s a dangerous mix. The higher your speed, the more room you need to stop and react to road hazards. Lastly, drivers are more distracted nowadays by cell phones, radios, following GPS systems, etc., which may increase the time it takes you to react to dangers.
For pedestrians, it’s important to take safety precautions. Snow often blocks sidewalks, causing many people to walk on the streets. This is always dangerous, especially when it’s actively snowing. Choosing which side of the street to walk on is important. Additionally, wearing bright clothing or carrying a flashlight when walking at night is a must. Lack of visibility is the biggest danger. Plows may simply not see you!
If you’ve ever watched a documentary or news segment on accidents of any type, you’ll quickly learn that there’s rarely one single cause for any accident. Typically, it’s a series of factors. For instance, you may be momentarily distracted by your phone as a snow bank prevents you from seeing a plow come around the corner, or you’re driving too fast and are unable to stop due to slippery roads. The fact is, addressing just one potential cause of accidents is not enough. We must all be hyper-vigilant, aware, and cautious.
Who Is At Fault for Snow Plow Accidents
Snow plow accidents can be caused by either plow drivers, other drivers, pedestrians, or multiple parties. Many people assume it must be the plow driver’s fault because their vehicle is larger and more damage is caused to the other party. Based on previous accidents, the reverse is more often the case. The extent of injuries is unrelated to cause and liability.
Determining fault is always critical for any accident or personal injury case. It affects your ability to seek damages for your injuries and/or wrongful death. The fault is not always attributed to a single party. As we mentioned earlier, there are often several contributing factors. It’s possible that both parties share equal fault, or one carries more than the other. The evidence facts presented play a huge role in how fault is assigned and the recourse available to each party.
Legal Assistance with Snow Plow Accident Cases in Massachusetts
If you are involved in snow plow accidents in Massachusetts, seek medical care immediately. Then, get help from a personal injury attorney. Gathering information and preserving evidence from the start can be critical to your case. Every accident is unique as is every snow storm and series of events leading up to an accident. A skilled attorney will take steps to protect your interests and help you obtain proper compensation for your injuries. If you’d like to discuss your personal injury case, contact us to schedule a consultation.