Auto accidents go up when the weather outside is frightful. Does that mean that changing road conditions and dangerous weather are to blame for accidents that happen during bad weather? Not exactly.

All Drivers Are Responsible for Their Cars

A basic rule of auto accident law is that all drivers are responsible for their own cars. If you slam on your brakes and nothing happens because they've failed, you still have to compensate the other driver if your brake failure causes you to rear-end them. That's because the accident still happened because of the car that you were driving.

Even if you truly did nothing wrong and exercised all of the caution that you could, the other driver wouldn't have gotten hit if you were out there. It may seem unfair to you, but it would also be unfair to that other driver. You could also potentially sue the brake manufacturer or your mechanic that installed the brakes so you wouldn't lose anything.

Weather Isn't Outside of the Driver's Control

Just because the weather was bad doesn't mean the accident was outside of the driver's control. Obviously, the driver can't control the weather itself, but the driver can still control how they drive.

One of the common things that drivers say after an accident is that there was no way they could stop in time. For example, the road may have been wet from rain and made the driver lose braking power. While it's true the driver may not have been able to stop in time at the speed they were going, they could have stopped in time if they had slowed down. It's a pretty basic principle of driving that the speed limit is for ideal conditions and to slow for weather and other poor conditions. A driver who doesn't slow down or take other precautionary measures for weather is liable for the accident.

Weather Might Play a Role in Liability

There are two ways weather might play a role in liability. First, the police or insurance companies might decide that both drivers didn't adjust for the weather. In that case, they might share liability instead of one driver being entirely liable.

In rare cases, the weather may be totally responsible for the accident and no one would be liable. But this would be something that the drivers couldn't react to such as a tornado suddenly forming and blowing them into each other.

To learn more about who's liable for a car accident, contact a local auto accident attorney today.