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Winter and car accidents in Nevada: Statistics and legal remedies

There are over 2,000 crashes due to snow and other poor weather conditions reported to the Nevada Department of Transportation every year. Drivers can take steps to help reduce the risk of involvement in a dangerous crash. When preparing for winter driving, it can help think of two main areas of concern: the safety of your car and your driving technique.

Step 1: The safety of your vehicle

When it comes to your vehicle, address any maintenance issues. In addition to engine function, check the tire tread and air pressure as well as battery life. Also check to make sure the headlights and brake lights are in full working order. Replace windshield wiper blades and keep the windshield wiper fluid full to help better ensure good visibility in the event of a storm.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) also recommends putting an emergency kit in your trunk. This should include things like a snow shovel, jumper cables, flashlights, blankets, water, food, and extra medications.

When starting the vehicle, remove snow and ice from all windows and mirrors. If possible, give the vehicle time to warm up before driving.

Step 2: Your driving technique

Know where you need to go. Review your travel route because knowing the roads you plan to travel can remove some stress and help you focus on the road instead of the directions.

The Nevada Department of Transportation also recommends avoiding quick starts and fast turns whenever possible as these can increase the risk of loosing traction while driving. Instead of slamming on the brakes, it is best to apply steady pressure if your vehicle has an ABS system or pump the brakes if it does not, much the same technique as you would use driving in the rain.

Bonus: What if I am in a crash?

Those who are involved in a car crash may wonder if they are liable. This question will hinge on the details of the accident. Did the other vehicle drive erratically or otherwise contribute to the accident? If so, you may be able to hold them accountable for the expenses that result from the car accident through a personal injury lawsuit. This can help cover costs like hospital bills, the need to purchase medical devices or supplies, medications, rehabilitation, missed wages and the expense to repair or replace your vehicle.

In order to move forward, you often need to establish the other driver was negligent. This generally requires the following:

  • Duty. This first part is generally already established as every driver in the state of Nevada has a duty to operate their vehicle with care.
  • Breach. Next, you must show the driver failed to meet this duty. In some cases, the presence of a traffic violation or witness statements that the driver was not driving safely can help.
  • Causation. This element requires showing the driver’s unsafe driving contributed to the accident. A police report may provide a starting point.
  • Damage. Finally, you can only hold the other driver accountable if the accident actually caused damage. Copies of medical bills and notes about missed work due to injuries or hospital visits can be used to help establish that the accident caused damage.

Damages can extend beyond the immediate. If the accident was serious, you or loved ones could have long term expenses such as the need for additional medical care or the inability to return to work. It is important to take all these considerations into account when building your case to help better ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled.