First Rain of the Season Causes Slick and Dangerous Roads
San Jose Auto Accident Attorney
According to the popular childhood rhyme, April showers bring May flowers. For California residents, rainfall is all but foreign in spring months, and usually arrives in late fall. Most drivers see no danger of driving in rainy conditions, seeing only the need for working wiper blades and functioning headlights.
Public Safety Message
The California Highway Patrol seeks to spread a much more important message regarding driving in rainy weather: People need to slow down and be extra cautious when it rains, as reported by the Times Herald Online, Santa Clara County. This urgent call for safety followed when a car crash on Californias Highway 17 injured four people and required assistance from Santa Clara County Fire Departments, ambulance, police and local hospitals. According to the California Highway Patrol, the motor vehicle accident occurred after Santa Clara County experienced its first consistent rainfall of the season, making the road particularly slick as accumulated road oils were brought to the surface, but had not yet washed off the asphalt. Highway 17 is curvy and steep.
Twenty-five fire fighters were involved in the rescue, which shut down northbound lanes of Highway 17 for over two hours. The car exited the roadway and descended down an embankment after bouncing off the center divider. The driver and three passengers sustained injuries, some of which were reported to be serious.
After two of the passengers managed to climb the 50- to 60-foot muddy hill, in search of help, the other two who suffered from more serious injuries had been ejected from the vehicle, and were unable to climb to safety on their own. Those suffering from serious injuries required the assistance of the fire department to lift them up the steep and muddy hill with harnesses and cables. All four were treated at local hospitals.
Rain Brings Dangers
Accidents of this type are all too common in California. TIME U.S. reported that in October, when Los Angeles, Californias rainy season commenced, 404 car accidents were reported the day of the first storm. According to the report, the California Highway Patrol indicated that this number is a 55 percent increase when compared to the accidents the previous week. While the highway patrol cites the same slick road condition as the culprit, it indicates that driver awareness is an issue. Many drivers underestimate the conditions, as evidenced by the fact that the storm produced between a tenth of an inch and a half inch of rain in some Los Angeles County areas.
California law provides that governmental entities are traditionally responsible for the condition of streets and highways, and must keep it in reasonable repair so that it is reasonably safe and convenient for public travel by those exercising ordinary care. While an accident does not create a presumption that the governmental entity is to blame, the facts and circumstances of each case must be examined to determine who is at fault. Often, the negligence and carelessness of the driver is to blame.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to recovery for your injuries. While your health and safety is the top priority, those who are injured must understand that strict time deadlines may apply to their case. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney today to secure advice that will result in the best possible outcome for your case. Call 408-293-7777 for an appointment.