Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer
by Slepkow Law

Many of the winter weather storms occurring in recent years have been of epic proportions. They were freezing rain, snow and sleet causing ice to form on city streets, roadways and highways. These dangerous conditions increase the potential of being involved in a serious accident in Rhode Island that could result in catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.

Car accident lawyer RI
As traffic creeps past on I-95, a car has slid off the highway

Winter weather accident

Icy roadway conditions often create the deadliest traveling surfaces where vehicles can lose traction and slip off the roadway or into oncoming traffic. Tragically, many  motor vehicle or trucking accidents in Providence that occur in wintry weather could have been prevented had business owners, municipalities and roadway maintenance crews taken effective measures to create a reasonably safe passage for motorists and pedestrians.  Projo obituaries will never tell the survivors how the fatal accident occurred and victims will need to rely on the police report, coroners report and other newspaper articles rather than the projo obituaries.

If you learn about a fatal accident in RI, look beyond the particulars of the crash and learn about the lives that were lost by searching:

Black Ice causing RI car accident and wrongful death

Black ice, or ice hidden under snow or dark of night is especially hazardous because it often catches motorists off guard. The invisible ice tends to form when the temperature of the air is higher than the pavement. Falling rain can rapidly freeze, creating a transparent, thin layer of ice on the street. Other times, the formation of black ice occurs when the freezing water is void of any air bubbles. Without bubbles, the ice is transparent and often matches the roadway material underneath. Invisible ice causes a vast majority of automobile  and car accident  collisions during intense winter months when the driving conditions make the roadway challenging to travel.

Black ice is nearly invisible

Motorists traveling at or above the posted speed limit  in Cranston or Warwick can easily lose control and slide off the roadway or into other traffic. Driving under these conditions  in Cranston or Warwick RI requires safety steps that include:

• Be aware that black ice is nearly invisible to the naked eye during the day and especially at night.
• Remain especially careful while traveling on entrance and exit ramps, across bridges and overpasses and through tunnels during the early morning hours when the temperature of the air is rising higher than the temperature of the pavement.
• Avoid stepping on the brake when hitting a patch of ice. This is because applying brake pressure on icy surfaces causes the car to skid uncontrollably. Instead, tap the brake pedal only as you approach the icy surface.
• Maintain adequate distance between you and the vehicle in front. The additional distance is necessary to ensure your vehicle can come to a complete stop on the icy surface. The services usually require twice the distance as normal.

Traveling on Bridges and Overpasses in Rhode Island

Traveling on bridges and overpasses can be especially dangerous during icy conditions. This is because they tend to ice over long before the roadway does, even if the surface is only slightly wet. Bridges and overpasses will quickly freeze meaning that unwary motorists traveling at high speeds might not see the slippery surface, being unprepared they quickly lose control. A light dusting of snow fall can easily produce a slippery icy surface on an overpass or bridge that may appear to be dry or clear.

Liability Issues in Providence Superior Court wrongful death

Driving your car, truck or auto safely during the winter months requires constant attention to the roadway and thorough preparation to avoid hazardous conditions. This means maintaining the vehicle, traveling with an emergency kit and understanding how to handle dangerous driving conditions including black ice. However, liability for the driver can extend to how they drive and deal with accumulated ice and snow in their vehicle. Common steps for avoiding an accident include:

• Clear away accumulated ice and snow from the vehicle
• Keep abreast of current traffic and roadway conditions
• Apply the brakes carefully
• Remain aware of hidden black ice
• Never use cruise control during icy conditions
• Slow down

The NHTSA reports ” In 2014, there were 9,967 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involv¬ing a driver with a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher; this was 31 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year. Among the 9,967 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in 2014, 69 percent (6,852) were in crashes in which at least one driver in the crash had a BAC of .15 g/dL or higher. Drivers are considered to be alcohol-impaired when their blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) are .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.’ nhtsa 

Hiring a RI wrongful death Attorney

Driving during the winter months can be extremely hazardous because of the slick slippery surfaces that cause accidents. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of other drivers, you are likely entitled to receive financial compensation by filing a  Rhode Island wrongful death lawsuit in Providence SUPERIOR court. However, RI wrongful death cases are complex and often require the skills of a Rhode Island wrongful death accident attorney who is also a RI personal injury lawyer. Your RI fatal car accident lawyers working on your behalf can provide a variety of legal options and assist you in receiving the financial compensation you deserve.

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