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When Strong Winds Factor into Your Car Crash

May 19th, 2022

High winds can make road conditions more hazardous than you realize. According to the Federal Highway Administration, bad weather (including strong wind) plays a role in about 21 percent of all vehicle crashes. While windy conditions don’t excuse drivers from exercising a reasonable duty of care, it can make proving liability a little more complicated in car crashes. Let’s talk about injury accidents where wind is a factor, including the added dangers involved and how windy conditions may affect liability in a crash.

How Winds Can Make Driving More Dangerous

Strong winds may not seem like a big deal at first, but when you’re on the road, it can increase the risk of accidents in any of the following ways:

  • Lowered visibility. Blowing dust can reduce your ability to see far ahead or even temporarily blind you.
  • Tossed objects. Blowing debris can put sudden obstructions on the road, making it more likely for drivers to swerve and possibly lose control of their vehicles. Wind can even turn loose items into projectiles, endangering other drivers and passengers.
  • Reduced vehicle control and performance. Gusty winds can make it difficult to keep your car in its lane, and high winds can sometimes push vehicles off the road or even cause broadsided vehicles like semi-trucks to overturn.

How Do High Winds Affect Liability in a Car Accident?

When trying to determine liability in a car crash, the court will usually look at who was negligent–and negligence is determined by whether a driver violated his or her “reasonable duty of care” to protect others on the road. This can be a difficult question to answer when high winds are a factor. For example, if a sudden gust of wind suddenly pushes a car into another lane where it collides with another vehicle, was that the driver’s fault for not maintaining control of the vehicle, or did the driver violate their duty of care by not accounting for the wind and creating more space between their car and others on the road? If a gust of wind blows an obstacle into the road and causes a driver to lose control, can they be held liable for any injuries that occur when their car makes contact with another vehicle? 

Bottom Line

High winds are sometimes a factor on the road, and as with other weather conditions, drivers have a responsibility to take those conditions into account when driving. If you’re injured in an accident where the wind is a factor, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get compensation for your injuries, but it can make proving fault a little more complex. It’s all the more reason why you need a skilled personal injury attorney in your corner, one who can examine the evidence and the circumstances of the crash to prove liability and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.