June 22, 2023
Can Poor Road Conditions Cause Car Accidents?
Frequent drivers in and around Philadelphia are familiar with the poor road conditions plaguing the city’s busiest roadways. Sometimes, poor road conditions cause car accidents. When this happens, who should be held responsible?
Every year, about one-third of all car accidents in the country are caused by poor road conditions, which result in more than 2 million injuries and over 22,000 deaths. However, driver error often leads to an accident. When multiple factors cause a crash, determining fault can become even more complicated.
How Can Poor Road Conditions Cause Car Accidents?
Here are some of the ways poor road conditions can cause an accident:
- Potholes: Potholes are common, especially in the city. Potholes form when water seeps through cracks, freezes, and expands, widening a hole in the road. Potholes can pop your tires, damage your wheels, bend suspension components, and cause a driver to lose control.
- Loose debris: With the number of travelers on the road today, it is unsurprising to see debris littering the highway.
- Lack of traffic signs: Lack of correct signage can lead to dangerous situations for drivers who need warning of construction zones, sharp turns, or other upcoming hazards. Furthermore, it is possible for street signs, stop signs, and other traffic signs to be obstructed from view, incorrect, or even missing. Keeping drivers informed through proper signage helps prevent accidents.
- Lane markings: Lane markings keep drivers safe by instructing them where to drive. Lane markings fade or wear out over time, and certain entities are responsible for restoring them. When they fade or disappear, a driver may cause an accident by being confused or unable to tell what lane to be in.
- Poor or uneven asphalt: The road will deteriorate due to normal wear and tear. Extreme temperatures can also cause the road to buckle and warp. However, a municipality in charge of the road’s condition may be held liable if the road becomes unsafe to drive on.
Proving Poor Road Conditions Caused an Accident
Even the most careful drivers can crash their vehicles in poor road conditions. To prove that the hazard caused your injuries, there are specific steps that you need to take:
- Identify the hazard: You first need to identify what caused your accident: whether it was another driver, a road hazard, or a combination of both. Common road hazards include missing road signs, uneven roads, and shoulder drop-off or missing guardrails.
- Determine if the hazard could have been prevented: Some hazards happen so suddenly that there is no way anyone could have reasonably avoided them. However, at other times, those responsible for the road could have prevented some hazards. You must prove that the agency in charge of the road knew about the hazard or should have known and did not remedy the issue in a reasonable amount of time.
- Identity of who is responsible: Every accident is different, and sometimes different parties are responsible for a car accident. If a road hazard caused your crash, you need to find out who was responsible for the road at the time, whether it be a government agency, county government, or municipality. It could also be a third party, such as a plowing service or a commercial truck that lost cargo.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Help Those Who Have Been Injured by Poor Road Conditions
If you have been injured in an accident you believe was caused by poor road conditions, discuss your case with our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Call us today at 267-861-7100 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Norristown.