The chances of being involved in a deadly car accident in New Jersey and around the country increase greatly in poor weather, and even rain that would prompt few drivers to switch on their windshield wipers poses a significant danger. These were among the conclusions drawn by a team of researchers who studied more than 125,000 fatal crashes that took place between 2006 and 2011 and then published their findings earlier this year.
Instead of scrutinizing local weather reports to determine how much rain, ice, and snow played a role in causing the car accidents studied, the research team gathered high-resolution radar images to find out the weather conditions at the exact time and place the crashes occurred. After analyzing this information, they discovered that light rain made fatal accidents 27 percent more likely to occur and heavy rain increased the odds by 75 percent.
Northeastern states like New Jersey had fewer weather-related accidents than other parts of the country despite the region's harsh winters and often heavy rainfall. The researchers behind the climate study believe that this can be explained by slower moving traffic in urban areas. The Northern Rockies and states in the Southwest emerged as the most dangerous parts of the country for these types of crashes.
Determining how fast the vehicles involved were traveling is often important in car accident lawsuits, and this is especially true when weather conditions were poor. When police reports do not provide this information, experienced personal injury attorneys may seek to have the vehicles that injured their clients inspected. This is because most modern cars have data recorders. In addition to revealing how fast vehicles were traveling when they crashed, these devices could provide evidence of distraction as they also monitor driver behavior.