Here in Mississippi, the roads and highways seemingly shut down anytime the temperature creeps below freezing. People that live below the Mason-Dixon line rag on us Southerners for our seemingly inability to navigate our vehicles in frigid temperatures. Most non-Southerners believe it is because we rarely see cold weather that we do not know how to drive in the snow and ice, but the truth of the matter is, freezing temps in Mississippi bring a different dangerous condition then our fellow drivers up North. The colloquial term known around these parts is “Black Ice,” and it refers to the mostly invisible layer of ice that forms on top of the road. Where Northern states get snow on the road, we typically get rain and sleet that freezes on the road. It turns our cars and trucks into snow sleds and ice skates that are nearly impossible to control when hitting a patch of ice.
Naturally, you would think that a wreck caused by a car sliding in the ice would be considered and act of God and free of liability. Unfortunately, in Mississippi, this is not the case. As with all other driving conditions, a driver of a vehicle in Mississippi has a duty to operate his or her vehicle in a reasonably safe manner. What this means is that driver has a duty to operate his or her vehicle in a manner that is safe given the current conditions.
You might be asking yourself, what can you do to prevent motor vehicle accidents when the roads freeze over. The main thing any driver can do is to avoid driving unless it is absolutely necessary. If for some reason, you find yourself in a situation where you must drive on froze-over road, you will need to take more precautions than usual. Some precautions you can take the next time the roads and bridges freeze over include:
In the event you find yourself injured by a vehicle that lost control on a frozen roadway, you might be entitled to compensation. You will have to prove that the driver negligently operated the vehicle given the dangerous road conditions. Negligence might be found through speeding, driving without lights if it is snowing or dark outside, and/or failing to replace worn tires or brakes.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a driver negligently operating his or her vehicle in icy road conditions or inclement weather while in Mississippi, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at ‘Maggio|Thompson.
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