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Even light snow can lead to cross-border personal injury claims

Although the worst of the winter weather is over, light snow may continue to pose driving risks for a few more weeks. British Columbia drivers who think that snow-related risks are over until next winter might be surprised to learn that weather officials disagree. While winter hazards continue, those drivers who take trips south of the border should be especially cautious to avoid accidents, which can lead to complicated cross-border personal injury claims.

Studies had shown that more than half of crash fatalities in snow-related accidents from 2015 through 2017 occurred at times when snow was so light that no weather advisory warnings were in place. One drivers’ education analyst says light snow poses significant dangers because it melts quickly but forms ice layers on the roadway as it refreezes. Drivers may encounter ice-covered sections of the roadway without even knowing that there was light snow that had already melted.

Visibility can by low, and drivers might not even know that they are approaching slippery ice-covered sections of the road that had recently been covered by light snow. The lack of traction may come as a surprise if they have to stop, turn or accelerate quickly. Hitting a snow or ice patch can quickly cause an unprepared driver to lose control of the vehicle.

Most British Columbia drivers remain cautious and allow for more stopping distance, and know not to hit the brakes if they go into a skid. However, they may be vulnerable when they share the roadways with other, not so cautious drivers. Those who are injured in car accidents while they are south of the border will have to deal with the laws and insurance adjusters of both countries. This is where the skills of a lawyer who deals with cross-border personal injury claims every day can be invaluable.