Car accidents are common enough in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the United States, but winter makes them more likely and more potentially dangerous. Snow, ice and freezing rain are just some of the hazards that winter brings to the Badger State each year.

A police officer in Ashwaubenon had a close call with a truck in a slick intersection after a winter storm had caused record low temperatures and significant accumulation of snow and ice. The officer drove a marked sport utility vehicle through the intersection after the light turned green, but the truck was unable to stop before striking the driver’s side of the cruiser.

The driver was initially stuck inside the vehicle but managed to exit without injury. The driver was cited by local authorities for driving too fast for apparent winter conditions.

Most commercial driving operations maintain rules to keep speeds down and put safety first through the hazards of winter precipitation. One good rule of thumb is to reduce speed by a third in active rain or with slippery road conditions and up to two thirds if a road is icy or logged with snow. The best defense is to avoid driving if at all possible during a winter storm or while snow or ice still affects driving conditions.

Anyone affected by damage or injury in a car accident has the option of holding drivers accountable if a financial settlement is necessary for recovery. An attorney can help victims and their families determine if a claim in civil court or movement towards a negotiated settlement is a good option.