A deadly start to the year has safety advocates urging caution as we head into the brunt of Wisconsin's winter driving season.
As we reported recently, Wisconsin winter risks require drivers to use extra caution on the roads. It's not just the winter weather - our car accident lawyers in Hayward know wet, slippery roads and reduced visibility increase the chances that other poor driving habits will result in a collision.
Statewide, it appears our roads got a little safer in 2018.
Fox11 News reports there were 565 deadly crashes in Wisconsin, between January 1st and December 30th of 2018, a decline of about 4 percent. In Northeast Wisconsin there were 121 crash-related deaths, with more than half happening in rural areas.
Deadly Start to Year in Wisconsin
An 18-year-old St. Paul student died when his Subaru was struck by a pickup truck that lost control while pulling a vehicle on a trailer, according to the Pioneer Press. The Hayward traffic accident occurred on Highway 63 and bad weather may have contributed, according to the Wisconsin Highway Patrol.
In a separate incident in Fond du Lac County, a 25-year-old driver was killed when her vehicle spun into the path of a car on snow-covered Highway 26 near Rosendale. Elsewhere, ABC5 News reports a man was killed by a suspected drunk driver on New Year's Day while stopped on a Madison highway to help at the scene of a crash during a snowstorm.
Safe Driving and Collision Liability
Our car accident lawyers in Winter and Hayward urge drivers to renew their commitment to safe driving as the New Year gets underway. Not only will it keep you and your family safer, it will reduce the chances you are found leally and financially responsible for causing a serious or fatal motor-vehicle collision. Victims seeking damages in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit must prove an at-fault driver violated a duty of care, resulting in compensable injuries to plaintiff. All drivers owe a duty of care to one another by virtue of being licensed by the State of Wisconsin to drive on public roads. A traffic infraction or criminal charge is not necessary to show a defendant failed to exercise due care, resulting in compensable economic or non-economic damages to victim.
Some of the most common causes of traffic collisions in Wisconsin include:
Distracted driving: Smart phones and onboard electronics continue to compete for driver attention and have increased year-around road risks. But allowing distraction to interfere with your driving is particularly dangerous during inclement weather.
Speed: Speed limits regulate maximum allowable speed on state and municipal roads. In poor weather, including conditions of low visibility, driving slower than the posted speed may be required to safely navigate the roads and allow for plenty of stopping distance.
Impaired driving: Like distracted drivers, drivers who are impaired by alcohol or other substances are always a threat. Poor road conditions increase the risk for everyone.
Aggressive driving: In addition to speeding, dangerous aggressive-driving habits include following too closely, failure to use a signal, and rapid accelerating or braking.
Each of these behaviors is more dangerous in inclement weather. Inclement weather may also complicate your car accident claim. Carefully documenting the scene and speaking to an experienced car accident attorney in Hayward or Winter as soon as possible are the best steps you can take to protecting your rights after a serious traffic collision.
Committing to safe driving in 2019 is the best thing you can do to avoid being involved in a motor-vehicle collision in the first place.
Lein Law Offices offers free and confidential consultations. Call 715-403-5045.