During the winter in Wisconsin, snow and ice can make driving more difficult and dangerous on any roadway. However, bridges and overpasses are often some of the most dangerous locations. Milwaukee has recently seen a clear example of this in the form of an accident in which a driver lost control on a snowy overpass and fell more than 70 feet to the road below. Fortunately, the driver survived, and no other people were injured, but if you are injured in a car accident on an icy bridge, it is important for you to understand whether you can obtain compensation.
Why Are Bridges Dangerous in Winter?
Ice tends to accumulate quickly on bridges, overpasses, and other elevated roadways whenever there is winter precipitation, including snow, sleet, and even rain. This happens for a couple of reasons. First, these surfaces are raised away from the ground, removing them from sources of heat that can help to melt ice on roadways at ground level. Second, cold air travels across both the top and bottom of a bridge or overpass, and this can cool any moisture and cause it to freeze.
Many bridges have clear signage warning drivers of the possibility of ice, but even so, the stark difference in driving conditions between ground-level roads and bridges still catches many drivers unawares. This may be especially true when black ice has formed, as drivers may have trouble seeing this hazard. Unfortunately, this often results in serious accidents.
Car Accidents Involving Icy Bridges
Drivers can reduce their chances of being injured in a winter car accident by taking safety precautions to account for the weather, including making sure their tires and brakes are fully functional, staying alert and aware of their surroundings, and reducing their speed, especially when approaching an overpass or bridge.
However, you still may find yourself injured because another driver failed to take such precautions, and you should not assume that the driver cannot be held responsible simply because the road or bridge was more dangerous due to the weather. Drivers are responsible for the safety of others on the road, and this means that they must adjust their behavior to ensure they are acting safely based on the current conditions. When a driver tries to speed across an icy bridge or fails to see a warning sign because they are distracted, they may be considered negligent and liable for injuries that occur as a result.
Contact a Milwaukee Car Accident Attorney
During this time of increased driving risk, the Milwaukee County personal injury lawyers at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP are available to help those who are injured. We will work with you to identify evidence of negligence in your case and pursue full compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Contact us today at 414-271-1440.