Snow and ice are sometimes concerns for motorists in California, and they can make the winter months miserable for drivers in other parts of the country as well. Blizzard conditions and full-blown winter storms are generally seen as causing the most treacherous road conditions, but many safety experts say that light snow and small amounts of ice may actually be a bigger danger.
The blame for this is placed squarely on the shoulders of motorists who fail to adapt to changing weather conditions and continue to drive as if the roads are dry and visibility is good. This is sometimes blamed on the luxurious nature of modern automobiles and the way that climate control systems and soundproofing can isolate drivers from the world outside. Many drivers only realize that road conditions have deteriorated when they lose control of their vehicles or crash.
Drivers behave very differently during blizzard conditions, and many people choose to avoid the roads altogether when a winter storm hits. Drivers failed to adapt to changing weather conditions near the Massachusetts town of Marshfield on Jan. 4. The National Weather Service warned drivers three times that light snow was expected to make road surfaces in the area slippery, but police were nevertheless called to the scene of 17 accidents including a number of multi-car crashes.
Accidents caused by reduced visibility and poor road conditions often involve several vehicles, and it can be difficult for law enforcement to determine if negligence played a role. Personal injury attorneys trying to demonstrate that defendant motorists were responsible for the damages caused by motor vehicle accidents can seek the testimony of eyewitnesses when police reports are inconclusive. They could also try to find surveillance cameras that may have captured the events concerned.