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It is common for Pennsylvania to experience harsh winter weather every year. The effects of snow, sleet, and ice on the roads contribute to many car accidents, as statistics indicate. Motorists should understand these road and weather conditions, as well as how they can contribute to a crash, in order to avoid them as much as possible. Any driver who causes a collision, regardless of weather conditions, can be found negligent and liable for a car accident. This is because the weather cannot be held responsible for paying damages in a Pennsylvania road hazard accident claim.
In some cases, however, it’s not unsafe drivers or the weather who cause the most dangerous road conditions. Instead, they’re caused by the debris present in the roadway. Various types of road debris pose significant hazards for drivers, including tools from work trucks, furniture from moving vehicles, and fallen traffic signs. In fact, from 2011 to 2014, road debris caused about 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. It follows that road debris is a serious problem, and those injured in car accidents caused by it should be compensated by the party responsible for causing them.
Motorists who are negligent often cause accidents, either by speeding, engaging in distracted driving, driving while impaired, engaging in road rage, running red lights or stop signs, or failing to yield the right of way. There are, however, several circumstances in which road hazards may contribute to auto accidents.
Driving with vigilance and knowing what to avoid on the road are essential for staying safe as there are numerous hazards on the road that can pop up unexpectedly. Here are a few of the most common road hazards that are responsible for serious accidents in Philadelphia.
Negligence is not the only cause of road hazards. Road conditions caused by adverse weather conditions, for instance, are one of the leading causes of car accidents. Inclement weather plays a major role in approximately 21% of all car accidents reported by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). As a result of rain, snow, fog, and icy pavement, visibility can be reduced, braking capabilities can be reduced, and vehicle functions can be adversely affected.
Additionally, the presence of large puddles on the roadway, especially on highways, can present a hazard to motorists during rainy days or when ice and snow have melted. Water spray can be directed at vehicles on either side of a vehicle traveling at a high speed through a puddle. It is possible for this spray to obscure a driver’s vision and lead to an accident when it falls on the windshield of a motorist. As a result of driving through a puddle, water may enter the engine bay and be sucked into the air intakes, therefore ruining the cylinders. In this situation, there is a hydrolock, which results in the pistons locking up and the engine stalling. The brake lines can also become clogged with water when going through a puddle. Therefore, as soon as the brakes are applied, the vehicle starts to shake. This may ultimately result in the failure of the brakes.
Debris On The Road
The impact of a car hitting road debris at a high speed can result in a catastrophic accident. It is also possible for motorists to cause accidents by swerving while driving in order to avoid objects on the road. It is important to note that some debris is a result of natural events, such as branches, rocks, or trees. In addition, tires, car parts, light poles, traffic signs, and other debris may be found. As a result of car accidents, construction projects, or cargo falling from trucks, these types of debris may accumulate in the roadway.
It is possible for debris to accumulate on the roadway for a variety of reasons. Natural disasters, falling objects from vehicles, and construction debris are some of the most common causes of road debris. There are several types of road debris, including, but not limited to:
- Road signs
- Light poles
- Traffic cones
- Car parts
- Metal debris
- Plastic parts
- Broken glass
- Much More
Who Is Responsible For Road Debris Damage?
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible for road debris damage or debris-related car accidents. If you don’t know who is responsible for the road debris, or the negligent driver does not notice or stop, the liable party may be hard to track. There may be incidents where a construction company could be held accountable for leaving debris, such as traffic cones or road signs, on the road in a bad place.
Road debris damage and accidents happen every day, especially with the amount of vehicles on the road that are transporting items that are loosely fastened or unsecured. If you have been injured in a car accident, as a result of road debris, your next step should be to call a Pennsylvania road hazard lawyer near you and get the help you need.
Poorly Maintained Roads
It is common for roads to develop cracks or potholes when they are not properly maintained. During bad weather or heavy traffic, potholes form when the road deteriorates. After a while, a crater forms. When a car wheel strikes a pothole or a driver swerves to avoid one, this crater or pothole can cause havoc. As well as causing engine and tire damage, it may also affect the steering system and suspension of the vehicle. Potholes may also cause a tire to burst or result in a rollover accident. In addition to defective traffic signals, poorly maintained traffic signs, and missing guardrails, poorly maintained roads also exhibit faded painted markers.
The poor state of a roadway can lead to a variety of accidents, mostly as a result of the fact that it creates an enormous hazard for drivers. Drivers often attempt to avoid situations that may lead to a serious accident, such as potholes or pools of water. Some of the most common hazards caused by poorly maintained roads can include:
- Confusing signage
- Sudden driver maneuvers
- Clear Zone issues
- Inadequate signage
Construction zones are one of the most dangerous road hazards in Philadelphia and other cities in Pennsylvania. Signage which is confusing, narrowing lanes, moving equipment, traffic cones, and workers on the road all pose a threat to motorists. Unwary drivers can experience a rear end accident in construction zones due to lowered speed limits. Speeding or careless driving is a common cause of automobile accidents in construction zones. When lanes are narrowed down, drivers may drive on the shoulder or speed through the construction site, which could endanger workers and other road users. Heavy equipment and work crews are frequently involved in accidents that result in serious injuries or death. Contractors and government agencies in charge of construction zones may be held liable for accidents if warning signs and other precautionary measures are not taken.
Contact a Pennsylvania Road Hazard Accident Lawyer Near You
If you need to obtain legal advice in Philadelphia, PA, The Pearce Law Firm, Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers P.C. is here to help. For a free consultation and case assessment, contact us or call (215)488-7287.
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