The dog days of summer signal something all Minnesotans know: inclement weather is just around the corner. When snow flies, bridges and roadways often turn icy quickly. According to the Federal Highway Administration, almost 25% of weather-related car accidents in the U.S. happen on icy, slushy or snowy roads.
If you have driven during even one of the Gopher State’s notoriously cold winters, you undoubtedly already know driving posted speed limits can become too dangerous on ice-covered roadways. Naturally, if other drivers speed for weather conditions, your personal safety may be in jeopardy.
A duty to drive reasonably
Minnesota law imposes a legal duty on all motorists to drive with due care. During inclement weather, this means drivers hey must know about road conditions and adjust their speeds accordingly. Motorists may need to maintain speeds well below-posted limits to avoid colliding with others. Of course, it also may be possible to create a hazard for other drivers by driving too slowly for weather conditions.
The potential for multi-vehicle accidents
Even on dry roads, speeding can be catastrophic. After all, if a motorist exceeds the speed limit, he or she may have less time to react to changing traffic patterns, road debris and other potential hazards. When motorists speed on icy roadways, though, they create the potential for multi-vehicle accidents. That is, because of reduced traction, cars may slide into other vehicles during an accident.
If a driver speeds during inclement weather and violates his or her duty to drive reasonably, you may have a valid claim for compensation. Ultimately, pursuing legal remedies may give you access to the financial resources you need to recover from your injuries.