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Cold Weather Crashes: Can I Still Prove Negligence?

Cars on a wet road with low visibility

Winter weather can wreak havoc on the roads, endangering drivers, and pedestrians alike. Every year tens of thousands of Americans are involved in a car crash that wouldn’t have happened if not for the wind, snow, and rain. In all these weather-related crashes, it’s important to remember who is responsible for road safety and who is liable for the damages. Nevada law places a duty on drivers to take the weather conditions into account while driving.

Anyone who suffers severe injuries in a crash has the right to pursue compensation from a responsible driver’s insurance provider. If the crash involves rain or snow, the injured must show that despite these conditions, the driver did not operate his or her vehicle in a safe manner. This may include the following actions.

Driving Too Fast for Conditions

The posted speed limit is for ideal conditions, not rain, snow, or high winds. That means someone driving the speed limit in poor weather could be considered negligent. Many drivers feel they can maintain control of their vehicle regardless of the conditions, but this is a dangerous mindset.


Tailgating is a dangerous practice in the most ideal conditions. It’s a much more serious problem when driving in inclement weather due to the risks of drifting or hydroplaning. Make

sure you’re giving enough room to the vehicle in front of you, and if someone is tailgating you, try to change lanes safely or pull over to let the driver pass.

Failure to Maintain Vehicle

All drivers must ensure proper maintenance, especially in winter. This means changing worn windshield wipers, checking tire treads, and more. Poor maintenance, especially bald tires, makes a crash much more likely, especially in bad weather.

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident, seeking medical attention is your first priority. Secondarily, consulting with an attorney is necessary to learn of and protect your rights.

Brett Carter, Attorney and Partner

Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen