Winter Driving Conditions Lead to More Car Accidents. Does it alter whom is at fault?

It's getting chilly and dark as winter approaches. Icy or snowy conditions making driving more hazardous and car and truck accidents more frequent and unexpected. The question of the day is whether the existence of such driving conditions absolves the involved drivers of responsibility for their crashes?

The answer is NO! The laws which govern such situations in Maryland are provisions of the Maryland Annotated Code Transportation Article and they require a series of safe and rational driving behaviors with no exceptions for more slippery driving conditions.

For example Md. Transportation Article 21-310 " Following Too Closely" states 'The driver of a motor vehicle may not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the other vehicle and of the traffic on and the Condition of the Highway".

Clearly the legislature intended that drivers adjust their speed and driving habits in accordance with the weather conditions because of course they effect " The Condition of The Highway." Similarly, a driver found guilty of a violation of 21-310 receives both a fine and points as a means of discouraging future such driving actions.

The basic Maryland speed rule 21-801 recites " A person may not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed that, with regard to the actual and potential dangers existing, is more than that which is reasonable and prudent under the conditions."

Again there is an emphasis on " conditions" and " actual and potential dangers existing." Which is to say if it is cold and snowy or icy, slow down and drive in such manner as to maintain control of your car or truck and be aware that if you don't you will be responsible for the accidents you cause.

Robert V. Clark
Maryland Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
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