Accidents do happen when road conditions are bad and then it gets riskier to drive. Snow, black ice, and slippery roads can easily swerve your car out of control and cause a collision. If this happens on the highways then damages could be fatal and more severe. Whether you are able to claim for the damages under your insurance or not may depend on various factors. As per your coverage level and the collision circumstances, your insurer may approve or deny the claim. When you don’t drive with diligence and winterize your car then you cannot blame just bad weather for a collision. Your driving lessons on snow or black ice could help you to know how to drive safely under slippery road conditions.
Which Coverage Covers Snow And Black Ice Accidents?
You may claim under collision coverage for damages that are due to a collision. So, when you skid on black ice while driving and hits something then you may claim under collision. However, if the accident was caused by your negligence and lack of care while driving then you may not. It totally depends on your insurer’s discretion and your role in the accident. If you have not collided with another object then you may consider claiming under comprehensive coverage.
When your car slides on black ice or snow but does not hit another car then you may claim for any damages under comprehensive. If another car hits your car due to slipping on black ice then you may claim under their liability coverage. In case the other driver has no insurance at all then you may claim under your uninsured motorist benefits coverage.
Who Is At Fault For A Car Accident Due To Snow, Ice, Or Black Ice?
In most cases when the weather is really bad or takes a turn for the worse then there are many accidents. Insurance companies cannot approve all claims for such accidents and they may try to find a reason to not cover the claim. First of all, your insurer expects you to drive responsibly with extra caution on icy roads. You also have to install winter tires and make every effort to avoid a collision. However, even after your best efforts and care you do end up in a collision due to black ice then your insurer may consider you faulty to an extent. The insurance company performs a fault determination and as per the various circumstances that led to your collision you could be 100% or 50% at-fault. If your car collides with another car that skid on black ice then it could be a 50-50 fault.
Bad weather and road conditions are not an excuse to drive carelessly and insurers do not encourage such claims. However, if you do not agree with your insurer’s decision then you may appeal against it. You could get a better chance of winning if you are able to show that the other party was entirely at fault for the collision.
The Best Way To Stop Quickly On Snow Or Ice
As per the Ministry of Transportation, you may follow the below tips to help you stop short on snow or black ice.
Step off the gas or brake when you are driving on black ice. Drive on neutral if you can and do not oversteer or change steering direction. After you gain control of your car then you may brake very smoothly and gently, not abruptly.
Threshold braking could help you to stop your car quickly and you may not lose control either. This will help you out when you do not have ABS in your car but can come only with practice. To do this trick you have to brake hard until one of your car’s wheel lock up and then release it. Press on brakes again just short of a skid and when you sense another wheel is about to lock up then release and reapply the brakes. Ensure you are not pumping the brakes and this will reduce the speed of your vehicle and stop it.
If your car has ABS then it helps you to brake with control on black ice automatically. You may brake hard so that ABS will lock up the wheels. However, if you have never driven in slippery conditions using the ABS feature then you better master its technique in good weather. It is a good idea to know how ABS will react when you brake hard and it does not allow you to stop short.
Tips For Driving Safely On Ice And Snow
When you drive safely and prepare your vehicle for hostile weather conditions then you may avoid collisions. You may check out the below list to know what you could do to stay safe in winter.
- Get your car in the top form to adapt to winter road conditions. Antifreeze in the windshield fluid helps to keep your visibility clear while driving and install winter tires to gain adequate traction on ice and snow. If your municipality allows using studded winter tires then do so for better safety, especially on hilly terrains.
- Keep your headlights clean and clear off snow and dirt as well as all windows and mirrors. Defrost before you start a trip so that your car windows are clear from all sides.
- When on an icy patch of the road slow down, do not brake, oversteer, or speed up to get past it. That would be a foolish maneuver that could cost you dear when you skid.
- Never use cruise control when you are driving on black ice or snow as it is meant to be used only under ideal road conditions.
- During bad weather conditions drive slowly and safely with extra care and never do anything that could take away your attention from driving. A split second of distracted driving is enough to cause a collision on an icy road and then don’t blame the insurer when they deny your claim.
- Keep extra distance between the vehicle in front of you for more space and don’t slam down on your brakes. Remember there could be another vehicle behind you that could skid out of control and rear end yours when you stop abruptly.
- Speeding is a big no and there is no point in rushing and creating unsafe driving conditions vulnerable to a collision.