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Winter Driving Conditions in New England Warrant Extra Caution on the Roads

February 15, 2022

Winter drivers in New England are expected to modify their driving habits in response to the road conditions, and often should drive much more slowly and cautiously than would be required if the roads and weather were clear. So far this winter, several significant storms have made for very dangerous roads in the region. A recently published local news report from New Hampshire discusses some of the hazards and risks of winter driving in New England

According to the recently published news report, freezing rain, sleet, and slush have made for very hazardous roads in New Hampshire this month. Drivers are responsible to operate their vehicles in a safe manner regardless of the road conditions. It is not enough to simply follow the posted speed limit without paying attention to the roads. A driver who is traveling at a speed that is unsafe considering the road conditions (even if that speed is lower than the posted limit) can face civil and criminal liability for unsafe driving in the event of a crash.

New Hampshire state law sets the speed limits on state roadways, requiring that drivers travel at a speed slower than the posted speed limit during inclement weather conditions. Because state law mandates a lower speed limit depending upon weather conditions, a driver who is traveling at a dangerous speed (below the speed limit) can still be cited and held liable for a traffic violation as well as negligence in the event of an accident.

When a negligent driver causes an accident that results in property damage or bodily injury, the injured or aggrieved party may have a claim against the driver in state court. For a car accident claim to succeed, an injured person is required to prove three things. First, it must be proven that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, second that the defendant violated that duty by negligent or intentional conduct, and finally that the defendant’s violation of such a duty was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

Proving the existence of a duty in an accident case is generally easy, as all drivers owe other drivers and pedestrians a duty not to place them in unreasonable danger by their own driving. To prove a violation of the duty, a plaintiff can show that the defendant was in violation of a traffic law (negligence per se), or else simply drove in an unreasonably dangerous manner considering the totality of the circumstances. To prove that the violation of a duty caused a plaintiff’s injuries, a plaintiff can present evidence that the defendant’s violation of the duty resulted in the accident, which caused the plaintiff’s injuries. If a plaintiff can prove all of the elements of a negligence claim by the preponderance of the evidence, then they should be awarded damages to compensate them for the effects of an accident (including pain and suffering, medical bills, lost work, disability compensation, as well as other damages.)

Proceeding with a New Hampshire Car Accident Lawsuit

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a New Hampshire car crash, the New Hampshire car accident and personal injury attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates may be able to help. Our personal injury and wrongful death lawyers have worked to receive tens of millions of dollars in settlements and awards for our clients, and we would like to help you get the compensation that you deserve. We represent clients in New Hampshire car accident cases, as well as other personal injury, negligence, wrongful death, and medical malpractice claims. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 1-800-804-2004 or reach out to us through our website.