a man calling a car accident attorney in st.clair michigan due to a winter car accident
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By Royce Nunley

Winter car accidents in Michigan are a common and significant concern due to the harsh winter conditions that prevail in the region. Michigan experiences heavy snowfall, icy roads, and freezing temperatures during the winter months, which can make for treacherous driving. Here is a detailed overview of various aspects related to winter car accidents in Michigan:

  • Weather Conditions: The winters in Michigan typically begin in late November and last through March. During this period, the state experiences frequent snowfall, freezing rain, sleet, and sub-zero temperatures. Lake-effect snow is common in areas near the Great Lakes, such as Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo, which can result in higher snowfall totals and more hazardous driving conditions.
  • Causes of Winter Car Accidents: One of the most common causes of car accidents in the winter months is due to the reduced visibility. Snowfall and blowing snow can significantly make it difficult for drivers to see the road, other vehicles, and traffic signs. If you encounter a snow squall or whiteout conditions, reduce your speed, turn on your headlights and hazard lights, and try to safely pull over until visibility improves. In addition, sub-freezing temperatures can lead to icy road conditions, increasing the risk of vehicles losing control and skidding. Accumulated snow on the road can make it challenging to maintain traction, especially if it turns into packed snow or ice. Lastly, the presence of black ice, a nearly invisible thin layer of ice on the road, is a particularly dangerous hazard that can cause sudden loss of control.
  • Impact on Traffic: Winter weather often leads to slower traffic due to slippery roads and cautious driving, which can result in congestion and longer commute times. Snow plows and salt trucks are deployed to clear roads and apply salt to minimize the icy conditions, but it takes time to clear large areas.
  • Bridges and Overpasses: These can freeze before the rest of the road, so extra caution is needed when driving over them.
  • Consequences of Winter Car Accidents: Winter car accidents can lead to a range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to severe injuries like fractures, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries. Some winter car accidents result in fatalities, especially when vehicles collide at high speeds or lose control on icy roads. Collisions, skidding, and sliding into obstacles can also cause significant damage to vehicles.
  • Safety Measures: Many Michigan residents switch to winter tires, which offer better traction in cold and snowy conditions. Some drivers also use snow chains to enhance traction, especially in extremely snowy areas.  During times of heavy winter conditions, it is advisable to reduce speed, increase following distances, avoid sudden maneuvers, and use general caution while driving in winter weather. 
  • Winter Weather Preparedness: Michigan residents are encouraged to prepare winter emergency kits for their vehicles, which may include items like warm clothing, blankets, non-perishable food, a flashlight, sand or kitty litter (for traction), and a shovel. 
  • Know the Law: Be aware of Michigan’s specific traffic laws regarding winter driving, such as requirements for snow tires or chains in certain conditions.
  • Legal Considerations: Michigan has a no-fault insurance system, which means that regardless of fault, each driver’s insurance covers their own medical expenses and property damage. Drivers are required to have minimum liability insurance coverage for bodily injury and property damage. However, if your injuries are severe or meet specific criteria, you may be able to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver for additional compensation.

Attorneys in Michigan can provide valuable assistance if you have been in a car accident during the winter. The first step is to consult with an attorney who specializes in personal injury law, especially car accidents. They can assess the specifics of your case and provide legal advice tailored to your situation. Attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident. This includes collecting evidence, such as accident reports, witness statements, photographs, and weather condition records, to determine liability. An experienced personal injury attorney can also help you negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. They have experience dealing with insurance adjusters and can protect your rights during this process.

Contact Our Experienced St. Clair Shores Winter Car Accident Attorney

In conclusion, winter car accidents in Michigan are a significant concern due to the challenging winter weather conditions. Drivers in the state need to exercise caution, use appropriate equipment, and be prepared for the challenges that winter driving can present to ensure their safety on the roads.

It is essential to consult with an experienced attorney in Michigan who specializes in personal injury cases, as they will be familiar with the state’s laws and regulations. The Nunley Law Group, PLLC has highly skilled attorneys who can guide you through the process, protect your rights, and help you seek the compensation you deserve after a winter car accident.

About the Author
Royce Nunley practices in the areas of Family Law, Criminal Law, Social Security, and Personal Injury law. Royce graduated Cum Laude from Wayne State University with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. He continued his education at Wayne Law, where he received his Juris Doctorate Cum Laude. Named to Superlawyer’s “rising stars” in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 for his work in Family Law.