Fort Collins is on the edge of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at an altitude of just under 5,000 feet, making the area susceptible to snow and ice in the late fall, winter, and spring. Fort Collins roads are often snow-covered and icy. In the late fall and early spring, they can be covered in black ice which may not be visible.
Black ice is a more dangerous roadway condition because it is often not seen or felt until it is too late, and a driver’s vehicle is already skidding or spinning. The snow and ice on the roads in the late fall and early spring will melt and turn to water, and that water on the roads will refreeze into ice at night, creating more dangerous driving conditions.
What are the Driving Conditions in Fort Collins Like?
Fort Collins is also on the edge of the plains and sees high winds in the fall and spring. On Interstate 25, wind speeds can be so high that trailer-trucks are turned over simply by gusts of wind. When driving on Interstate 25 in windy conditions, drivers must be aware that wind will affect the movement of vehicles, especially semi-trucks, on the highways and should be on the lookout for any vehicles moving erratically.
Colorado drivers, particularly those who have four-wheel-drive vehicles, often believe that they can drive faster in snow and ice because their vehicle has four-wheel drive; however, even though all-wheel drive vehicles have greater traction, they are not necessarily any better at braking or taking evasive actions on ice and snow. Accidents can be caused by drivers of four-wheel-drive vehicles driving too fast for the weather conditions, sliding, and hitting other vehicles.
When other drivers underestimate the conditions they are driving in and act recklessly, they may cause collisions. If you were the victim of a bad weather car accident in Fort Collins, you may be eligible for compensation.
Warning Signs of Dangerous Driving Condition in Fort Collins
Warning signs that a driver can look for before a weather-related accident in Fort Collins would be snow clouds, snow falling, and severe wind blowing. Snow and snowstorms are commonplace across Colorado but when the snow and wind are strong enough to impair visibility to any degree, drivers should get off the road, if possible, or slow down to keep a safe distance from other vehicles. In low visibility conditions, drivers should remember to never outdrive their headlights, meaning that they are driving so fast that if a hazard appears in their headlights, they will not be able to brake in time to avoid that hazard.
Once the roads are snow-covered or icy, a definitive warning sign would be if a vehicle starts to slide, which means that it is no longer safe to drive and that drivers should get off the road or take alternate routes that might be less affected by freezing weather. In certain instances, there may be advisories from weather services that driving conditions are dangerous. Heeding these warnings could help prevent bad weather car accidents in Fort Collins.
How is Fault Assigned in a Foul Weather Car Accident?
Dangerous weather can impact the assignment of fault in a car accident in Fort Collins in relation to the driver’s behavior during the extreme weather. People who live in Colorado often see snow, snowstorms, and ice. With that knowledge comes the duty to drive with heightened care at slower speeds and with a greater following distance between vehicles so that drivers can safely stop before a collision. If an at-fault driver was not taking those precautions while driving in poor weather conditions, it may be easier for an injured person to prove the other driver was negligent, causing a bad weather car accident in Fort Collins.
In rare cases, a snow or ice storm could be so severe that driving in such circumstances would be extremely difficult. In these cases, a driver with a claim against them may argue that they were not at fault and that the snowstorm, ice storm, or icy conditions were an act of nature that resulted in an unavoidable accident. An experienced car accident lawyer could help determine if there is a strong case to get compensation.
An Attorney Could Help Pursue Justice After a Bad Weather Accident
If a bad weather car accident in Fort Collins is caused by a negligent driver, a skilled personal injury attorney may be able to make a case and pursue damages to cover the resulting medical bills, car repairs, and even lost wages following an injury. If you were in an auto wreck due to foul weather or icy roads, call Mac Hester Law today to schedule a consultation.