When South Carolina schools and businesses close because of a winter storm, you can always count on comments from that guy who moved here from upstate New York: “Where I come from, we don’t close even when there’s three feet of snow on the ground!”
What that guy doesn’t seem to realize is that around here, unlike in other parts of the country, roads and sidewalks don’t always get plowed or salted, very few automobiles have snow chains and all-weather tires, drivers have very little experience handling a vehicle on ice or snow, and property owners are not used to clearing walkways and stairs.
One result is that governments, schools, and businesses close when winter weather strikes. Another result is that, despite these precautions, people in South Carolina get injured more often during the winter.
Despite adverse weather conditions, drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and to use appropriate caution – when they don’t, they are still liable for any damages and injuries that they cause.
Winter Weather and Car Accidents in Myrtle Beach SC
There are always more auto accidents during winter. The reasons include:
- Roads are covered with ice and snow;
- Black ice, which cannot be seen, can quickly cause drivers to lose control;
- There are more hours of darkness;
- Winter storms decrease visibility;
- More drunk drivers are on the road – even after the holidays, people tend to drink more alcohol during winter;
- Many drivers do not have experience driving in winter conditions; and
- Car owners fail to invest in winter gear or properly maintain their vehicles.
These same conditions also put pedestrians at greater risk during the winter. Decreased visibility can make drivers more likely to not see someone in a crosswalk. Someone driving too fast on an icy road could lose control and hit a pedestrian on a sidewalk.
Winter Accidents Can Happen Anywhere
Car crashes are not the only accidents that are more likely to happen during winter weather.
If you slip and fall on an icy sidewalk, parking lot, or the stairs to a business or government building, you could suffer from a variety of injuries, including:
- Head injuries;
- Ankle sprains;
- Hip fractures;
- Broken wrists or arms; or
- Back injuries.
Property owners are expected to take reasonable measures to clear ice and snow from any entrances and walkways in front of their property. If a business owner, home owner, or even the government fails to make a reasonable attempt to clear their property and you get hurt, they could be liable.
As if the dangers under your feet aren’t enough, winter also brings hazards from above. Trees and power lines often collapse under the weight of snow and ice. If you are struck by a falling tree limb or a live electrical line, you could suffer terrible injuries, including traumatic brain injury or electrocution.
Auto Accidents, Slip and Falls, Personal Injury Lawyers in Myrtle Beach, SC
Cold weather brings a whole host of dangers, and it pays to be extra careful during the winter – especially in places like South Carolina, where snow and ice are not the norm.
If you have hurt as a result of a winter-weather auto accident or slip and fall, call a Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer at Coastal Law, LLC now at (843) 488-5000 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation.