Winter weather can be tricky for drivers across the country, but especially here in Alaska. While it’s understandable that accidents can happen in these slippery and treacherous conditions, it doesn’t necessarily excuse drivers from their responsibility to act in a safe and responsible manner. If you have been involved in an accident caused by another driver during bad weather, it still may be possible to obtain compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more.
Drivers Have a Duty to Travel Safely Behind the Wheel
In Alaska and across the U.S., drivers have a responsibility to act in manner that promotes the safety of all those on the road. This can mean following posted speed limits, not texting and driving, remaining sober, and much more. These duties also include responding to road and weather conditions. During the winter especially, drivers should be extra careful. Often, winter weather accidents are caused not by the weather itself, but by drivers who fail to acknowledge the conditions and do the following:
- Drive too fast
- Follow too closely
- Fail to use headlights
- Fail to maintain the vehicle (bald tires, weak brakes, etc.)
- Make sharp or improperly timed turns
In some cases, drivers should not be on the road at all. At times, law enforcement will ask that only certain people take to the road—those who work for emergency or other human service industries, or those with some specific need.
Obtaining Compensation After a Winter Weather Accident in AK
In these situations, it is often necessary for the accident victim to prove that the at-fault driver wasn’t simply a victim of bad weather, but he did in fact make a choice that put others at risk. Insurance companies and the legal system may take into consideration the weather conditions, but they cannot deny when a driver was negligent behind the wheel. If you have been involved in a crash during bad weather, make sure to retain as much evidence as possible. It is helpful to:
- Take photos of the scene
- Write down names and contact information for witnesses
- File a police report
- Seek medical care for any injuries and maintain all records
At The Law Office of Ben Crittenden, solo practitioner Ben Crittenden has helped many Alaska car accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve after a crash. Ben has experience investigating these accidents and offering a compelling case for his clients. While wintry weather is a fact of life in Alaska, it doesn’t excuse drivers from their responsibilities. Contact Ben in his Anchorage office today to learn more about your rights, or request a free copy of his book, A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska.