A recent climate related report showed that economists have associated good weather with heavier traffic and increased incidence of fatal accidents and injury. Another recent study related the impact of inclement weather on traffic conditions, accidents and fatal injuries. So what does that mean for those of us who live and work here in Southern California? We usually enjoy some of the best weather in the nation, dominated by sunny skies and dry roads. The El-Nino patter will bring waves of heavy rain, thunderstorms and high winds. There is an increased risk of fatal accidents and injuries as our drivers encounter inclement weather creating slippery roads and reduced visibility.
However, after more than 40 years of experience as an accident and injury attorney locally, I can tell you that the greatest increase in serious and fatal accidents is due to distracted driving and cell phone use. It only takes a moment for you to look away from the road to review a text or check emails. That moment may bring an immediate change in traffic flow resulting in a serious accident. The answer in any of these events is simply attention. When skies are sunny people are out and about. Pedestrian and bicycle traffic adds significant risk to drivers throughout the area. When inclement weather arises, drivers tend to slow down unexpectedly, and poorly maintained wipers may make it very difficult to see the road and what is happening around you, especially at night.
Could El-Nino result in additional fatal accidents? Yes, and the recent study suggests we are in for a challenging period over the next several weeks. Protect yourself. Change your wiper blades, and put your cell phone away while driving. Be extra vigilant and cautious. If you are injured or lose a loved one in a fatal accident I invite you to contact my office for a free consultation at (949)305-1400.