As winter approaches, drivers in Minnesota should understand the risks of driving in inclement weather.
Amery, WI -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/08/2019 -- According to a recent report from CBS Minnesota, the first weekend in November was an extremely icy one. As a result, more than 100 motor vehicle crashes occurred on Minnesota roads. On that first Saturday of the month, an overnight mix of rain and snow led to particularly hazardous driving conditions. Indeed, the report indicated the numerous car crashes occurred first thing in the morning. As the weekend continued, dozens more collisions happened across the state.
High ramps and bridges tend to be the areas that are most prone to dangerous icy conditions. In some situations, drivers may not even realize that the roads are icy. Accordingly, drivers do not always slow down and make smart driving choices based on the road conditions. Before the weekend was over, the Minnesota State Patrol reported a total of 118 motor vehicle collisions. In those crashes, at least 18 people suffered injuries.
While drivers cannot control inclement weather or icy conditions on Minnesota roads, they can take precautions. To be sure, Minnesota negligence laws require motorists to behave as a reasonable driver would under similar conditions. Every motorist in the state owes a duty of care to others on the roads. That duty of care requires motorists to behave as a reasonable person would in a similar situation. When Minnesota roads are icy, a reasonable person likely would drive more slowly to prevent an accident. Safe driving in good weather may not be the same as safe driving after a wintry mix. As such, if a driver in Minnesota fails to drive safely with icy conditions, that motorist may be negligent.
According to Minnesota personal injury attorney Erik M. Bergmanis, driving safely means paying attention to road conditions and adjusting accordingly. As Bergmanis explained, "personal injury laws require drivers to behave as a reasonable person would under the conditions." Accordingly, Bergmanis emphasized, "motorists may be liable for injuries in an inclement weather accident."
As weather in Minnesota and Wisconsin worsens as winter approaches, drivers should understand their responsibilities. Inclement weather may pose greater accident risks than sunny summer weather, but drivers need to adjust to the conditions. As the first weekend in November underscores, winter storms can make highway conditions more dangerous across the state. Drivers should slow down and take precautions after a wintry mix causes icy road conditions.
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