Given the 65 degree weather today, it’s hard to believe that less than one week ago there was a deadly, 104-car pileup on Interstate 25 in Denver. On that tragic day, one woman was killed and more than thirty other people were taken to local hospitals. Although local police are still investigating the cause of the collision, it is likely that unsafe driver speeds and snowy conditions contributed to the collision.
Whatever the cause of the pileup, such an event provides a deadly reminder to the drivers in our state that the weather can change in an instant. And when it does, we urge you and your family to drive with care, not only for yourselves, but for those around you.
Colorado defines careless driving as driving “in a careless and imprudent manner, without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and use of the streets and highways and all other attendant circumstances . . . .” In the case of winter driving, it is usually this final clause which gets drivers in to trouble.
In our experience, careless drivers in winter weather fail to pay attention to the road conditions, and such drivers are typically driving too fast for those conditions. Such drivers cause automobile collisions.
Please try to remember that on snowy days, speed is not on your side. Even if you are not driving fast, a spinout in front of or behind you could lead to trouble. So please be aware of the weather conditions and adjust your driving habits accordingly.
Additionally, failing to provide enough space between one’s vehicle and the vehicle in front can spell disaster, even if a driver is not speeding. Even at slow speeds, cars lose traction on the road when it’s snowy outside. When there is a loss of traction, vehicles slip and slide.
Take an example: Let’s say you’re following the other vehicle, and you’re both going at slow speeds. The vehicle in front of you starts to spin out. You hit your breaks, but it’s slippery, and you slowly slide into the vehicle in front of you. Who are the police likely to find at fault? It’s possible that the police would find you both at fault, but it’s more likely that you would be found to be solely at fault. Under such a scenario, if you hurt the person in front of you, you could be found civilly liable, criminally liable, or both.
At Larson Larimer Schneider, we hope that you’re not on the receiving end of a careless driving personal injury accident. But if you find yourself hurt by someone else’s careless driving, please let us know, as we know how to help.
So please, enjoy the lovely weather. If and when the weather turns bad again, please remember to give yourself enough time to get to and from your destination. Take care driving, and drive safe.