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Car Accidents are Caused by Failure to Follow Snow-Removal Law

Michigan drivers have enough to deal with in the harsh and unpredictable Midwest winter season; the last things they need to deal with are snow and slush piles next to or atop high-speed roads and shoulders. These snow hazards are created when businesses or residents plow or shovel their driveways and parking lots.

Michigan law forbids "the obstruction of safety vision by removal or deposit of snow, ice, or slush." This dangerous practice has become such a problem that the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently issued a press release reminding business owners and property owners to be responsible in their snow removal along Michigan highways. MDOT cited two dangers created when people don't adhere to proper snow removal:

  • Tall snowbanks obstruct the visibility of cars seeking to enter traffic. This can cause a crash, even when motorists exercise caution and slowly "creep" forward to try to see past the snowbank obstructing their view.
  • Leaving a trail of snow or slush across the roadway or shoulder after removing or moving snow can cause a deadly car accident. Cars travelling 65 mph can immediately lose control when hitting a pile of snow or slush as little as a few inches deep.

If you own a business or residence along a Michigan highway, please take special care to ensure you are complying with the law and helping out with motorist safety.

The Consequences of Negligent Snow Removal

You probably aren't going to see many people ticketed for violating the Michigan Vehicle Code's snow removal law. It isn't a well-known law and therefore police will be less likely to enforce it. However, that doesn't mean that improper snow removal has no consequences.

Those who are involved in an auto accident caused by negligent snow removal can name the business or property owner as a party in a lawsuit, alleging that they caused or contributed to the car crash. Even when a personal injury suit isn't filed, the property owner's insurance company may be brought into negotiations where the improper removal of snow played part in the car accident.

A Michigan Attorney Can Help

If you believe your auto accident injury was potentially caused by someone's failure to follow Michigan Law's requirements on snow removal, contact a Michigan personal injury attorney. Also, remember to take pictures or video of the snow or slush that caused your accident, as the property owner is likely to take remedial action quickly afterwards.

Source: Michigan.gov

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