Poor Visibility is One of the Main Causes for NYC Winter Weather Accidents

car crash winter

Bad weather conditions such as fog and ice and snow on the windshield cause severe impairment of the driver’s ability to see the road ahead. When such conditions occur at night, it makes things even worse. Black ice on the road is not easy to spot, either, and the driver will not even realize it is there until the vehicle begins to spin out of control and this is not a good feeling because you don’t have any control of your vehicle at all. 

During the winter months, the days are shorter and this means that a lot of driving will take place in the dark. When you are driving in the dark, and your vision has been severely reduced due to snowfall or rain or fog, the risks of getting into an NY car crash are far greater than during the summer months. 

Road Conditions Affect Driving in New York Winters

Black ice, snow, slush and sleet all have the effect of reducing the traction your tires have on the road. When you drive on NY roads during the winter, especially after dark, you are less likely to notice the presence of black ice and this can prove dangerous. Losing traction can cause your car to quickly slide or spin out of control. When you apply the brakes in a bid to stop, it can make things worse, leading to a horrifying car crash.

Debris on the road such as fallen sticks or fallen trees is more likely during a winter storm. Trying to maneuver the car to avoid such debris can also cause you to lose control when the road is already covered with snow or black ice. Roads that have tiny cracks tend to accumulate snow and water that freeze to create a bigger pothole. Avoiding such cracks and potholes can be a huge challenge that increases the risks of a car crash in New York City.

Role of Driver Negligence in New York City Bad Weather Crashes

Driving in poor weather requires a lot of attention and skill. When even the most veteran skilled drivers find winter driving a challenge, inexperienced drivers may find their vehicle really tough to handle. Drivers with experience of driving in winter will have picked up certain driving habits that allow them to stay safe and also avoid causing damage to other vehicles. But someone without any experience of driving in poor weather is not likely to be as careful and they end up causing harm to not just their own car, but also to other drivers on the road.

Winter Holidays Increase the Risk of Drunk Driving Accidents in NYC

Data from the NYC Police Department shows that around 100 traffic accidents related to drunk driving occur every month in NYC. But the likelihood of such accidents goes up drastically during the winter holidays when the festive spirit gets to even those people who normally do not drink. 

Research from the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism supports this view. There is a rise of close to 40% in fatal road accidents in the period from Christmas through New Year’s Day. Drunk driving accidents are responsible for the death for an average of 27 persons every day during the month of December. This huge increase in fatalities is an outcome of the deadly combination of driving under the influence of alcohol in extremely challenging weather conditions of the New York winter.

What Injuries are caused in New York City Winter Car Crashes?

The most common forms of injury that arise in car accidents in New York in the winter months include the following:

  • Lacerations or deep cuts
  • Broken bones and serious fractures
  • Severing of the limbs
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Herniation of discs
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Puncture of the lungs
  • Loss of limbs
  • Internal organ damage or bleeding
  • Total paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Injuries causing disfigurement 
  • Amputation injuries
  • Emotional distress

Tips to Drive Safely to Avoid Winter Crashes in New York

winter tire

Understanding the challenges of driving during the winter can help drivers prepare better to ensure their safety on the road. Here are a few tips on how to drive safely to avoid getting into a crash.

  • Avoid driving in the dark when your visibility of the road conditions is drastically lowered as compared to the day time.
  • If the weather is particularly bad, put off driving entirely, or wait till the spell of snow or rain is over.
  • The car’s windshield tends to fog over quickly in cold weather and this can impair your ability to see the road. If you find this happening, check if you can take any measures to avoid the fogging, or stop driving until your visibility improves.
  • If there is no alternative, and you have to drive, move very slowly so that you reduce the chances of spinning or sliding out at high speeds. 
  • Another reason to drive slowly is to reduce the need for braking because that action can set off a chain of events that result in a car crash. If you cannot avoid braking, make sure you apply the brakes in a regulated manner, while maintaining the steering wheel in a straight position.
  • If you have to drive a lot even during the winters, fit your car’s tires with chains that can help give better traction on roads covered with ice or snow. The friction is increased due to the chains and this reduces the risk of slipping on a snow-covered road.
  • Never drive after drinking. Alcohol affects the brain’s ability to process information and also reduces muscular coordination to respond to what one sees on the road. This, along with the road being slippery due to snow or ice or sleet can cause a fatal accident that was entirely avoidable.
  • Despite following all measures for safe driving, it is quite likely that the negligence of another driver may cause an accident that injures you. So, it is vital that you stay extra alert when driving in the winter to be able to anticipate how fellow drivers on the road will move, so that you can steer clear of trouble.

Who is Responsible for Your Winter Weather NYC Car Crash?

Under New York law, every driver must exercise due caution while operating their vehicle on the road. When you drive on the streets of New York, you need to take all the basic precautions and drive in a safe manner so that you do not pose a risk to the safety of others on the road. The rules for safe driving stay the same regardless of the weather condition. 

Poor weather conditions cannot be a justification for negligent driving and the driver who was responsible for a crash cannot claim that the weather affected their driving. If you were driving as carefully as possible in winter weather, and were injured in an NYC car crash due to the negligence of another driver who failed to exercise due care, you are entitled to seek damages for the losses you suffered in the accident.

Contact an Experienced NYC Winter Weather Car Accident Attorney Today

Under New York’s no-fault insurance rule, if you were injured in a car accident in New York, you must first approach your own insurance provider to seek damages. If your injuries are severe and meet the criteria specified for “serious injury” under New York law, you may be able to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit filed against the other driver who was at fault for the crash. The damages you can recover through such a personal injury case include compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Damage to property
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress such as post-traumatic stress disorder

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a winter weather car accident in New York City, get in touch with our expert personal injury lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today. We have helped numerous winter car accident victims over several years recover the compensation they truly deserve. To know more about how we can help you do the same, get in touch with us at 1-800-660-2264 or


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