Snowy skies and roads this past Christmas Eve led to nearly 300 car accidents being reported in the Calgary area, according to the Calgary Herald. Fortunately, the normally safe and sensible drivers of our city weren’t traveling at high speeds when these collisions occurred, and only 42 accidents resulted in injuries, all of them deeemed minor by police.
This illustrates an interesting and little-known point about seasonal car accidents, not just here in Calgary but in most places that experience a true winter. Though there are frequently more accidents in the winter due to poor driving conditions and the inability to stop as quickly on snow and/or ice—in at least one accident here in Calgary this Christmas, cars slid slowly into emergency vehicles that had stopped to assist with a previous accident—the fact that conditions are poor also means most drivers are being extra cautious and going at slower speeds.
In the summer, when skies are clear, people feel more comfortable racing along the highway and pay less attention to the road, other drivers, and their surroundings. Wintertime driving in Calgary requires real concentration at all times, and while summer drivers should be focused the fact is it is easier to forget to look when you can see everything so clearly. Summer often sees higher rates of traffic fatalities and serious injuries from high-speed crashes, resulting in far more physical, emotional, and financial damage to those involved.
Of course, all drivers in Calgary should maintain awareness at all times, and ensure that they are in control of their vehicle no matter what the conditions are. You are just as responsible for your vehicle and any accidents you may cause when the roads are snowy as you are when they are dry. If the weather or other road conditions ever make you feel like you are not in complete control of where your car goes or what it does, the safest thing for you and everyone else on the road is to pull over and stop driving until you are able to resume.
Similarly, if you are ever involved in an accident in which road conditions played a part but which was caused by another driver, the law holds that other driver responsible for the damages caused. This includes damage to your car, whether minor or major, as well as any expenses you incur as a result of injuries you sustained in the car accident. A wet or snowy road, or a lack of visibility due to weather, does not absolve the other driver or their insurance company from living up to the obligations they took on when they decided to drive on Calgary roads.
We’re glad no one was seriously hurt in Calgary this Christmas Eve, and we hope you stay safe and careful throughout the year.
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