Navigating Weather-Related Car Accidents in Upstate South Carolina

by | Dec 7, 2023 | Auto Accidents

tractor trailer truck accident on snowy highway Upstate South Carolina is known for its beautiful scenery and mild climate, but the region can also experience severe weather conditions that can lead to car accidents. From fog to heavy rain and even snow and ice, South Carolina’s weather can be diverse. It’s important to know how to navigate these weather events to avoid a serious car accident.

Steps to Take Before You Drive to Avoid Weather-Related Car Accidents

Check the weather forecast. Be aware of the weather conditions before you head out on the road. If there is a chance of severe weather, consider postponing your trip or taking an alternative route.

Make sure your car is in good condition. This includes having your tires properly inflated and tread depth at a safe level, brakes in good working order, and windshield wipers that are clear and functioning properly.

Pack an emergency kit. This should include items such as a first aid kit, flashlight, blanket, bottled water, and snacks.

What To Do If You’re Caught Driving in a Storm in South Carolina

Slow down. The speed limit is for ideal conditions, not for when the roads are slick and visibility is limited. In light rain or snow, you should reduce your speed by five to 10 miles per hour. Moderate rain or snow requires reduced speed of up to 15 miles per hour. If there is heavy rain or snow, you should reduce your speed by up to 20 miles per hour. If you are unlucky enough to get caught in a blizzard or whiteout, you need to pull over in a safe location and wait for the storm to pass.

Increase following distance. Give yourself plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. This will give you time to react if they have to stop suddenly. While normal following distance is between two and four car lengths, depending on speed, you may need to double that if you are driving in bad weather.

Avoid using cruise control. Cruise control can make it difficult to feel the road and react to changing conditions. Cruise control can also prevent you from feeling the road and reacting to changes in traction.

Use your headlights. Even if it’s not raining, turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible to other drivers. Remember to use your fog lights if there is fog on the road. This can make it easier to see cars coming at you and those in front of you.

Be extra cautious when approaching intersections and bridges. These areas are more likely to be icy or slick. You should reduce your speed, increase the following distance, and check for cross-traffic more than once. Beware of black ice and be extra cautious of descents or hills.

Pull over if conditions become too dangerous. If you feel unsafe driving, find a safe place to pull over and wait for the storm to pass.

What to Do If You’re in a Weather-Related Car Accident in South Carolina

view through windshield during weather and dangerous driving conditionsThere are some steps you should take if you are involved in a car accident during bad weather in South Carolina.

  1. Call 911 immediately. You need to request emergency medical personnel and get an officer to make a police accident report.
  2. Check for injuries. Determine if you or anyone else was injured in the crash.
  3. Move your car to a safe location. If your car is blocking traffic, try to move it to a safe location off the road. This is especially important if the storm is causing visibility issues. Moving out of the way can prevent a secondary car accident.
  4. Exchange information. Get the name, contact information, and insurance information from the other driver and any witnesses.
  5. Take videos and photos. If you’re able to move around the scene of the accident, you should record what happened. This will serve as evidence of liability in your insurance claim.
  6. Contact a South Carolina car accident lawyer. You need to contact an attorney as soon as you can so that they can begin an investigation and help you get the compensation you deserve after a wreck.

Liability in Weather-Related Accidents

eclipse-being-towed-after-accident-during-winterIn weather-related accidents that involve more than one vehicle, liability will be assigned to the driver who was negligent. They may have failed to follow South Carolina rules of the road or they may have failed to drive carefully enough due to the weather.

It can be difficult to determine who is responsible for your crash. That’s why it’s important to work closely with a South Carolina car accident lawyer who can help you collect evidence, conduct an investigation, and communicate with other parties and insurance companies.

Liability is based on negligence. Negligence is a legal theory indicating that the at-fault party had a duty, breached that duty, and caused the accident. If damages resulted from that negligence, then you can collect compensation to cover your losses.

Compensation You Can Get in Weather-Related Car Accidents

You can get compensation to cover all your losses in a weather-related car accident. That may include money for the following:

  •       Past, present, and future medical bills
  •       Lost wages
  •       Loss of earning capacity
  •       Loss of enjoyment of life
  •       Loss of consortium
  •       Pain and suffering
  •       Emotional anguish
  •       Property damage

An attorney can help you get the maximum amount of compensation possible by proving your damages and negotiating with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement offer.

Contact a South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer

If you were involved in a weather-related car accident, it’s important to contact a South Carolina car accident lawyer who understands your situation. The other party and their insurance company may be denying fault. Attorney Venus Poe knows how to use the evidence to show that they are liable for your damages.

Call us today at (864) 963-0310 or contact us online to schedule a case consultation.


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