Bad Weather Driving: Your Risks & Responsibilities

During the winter season when the weather is bad, the average driver is more likely to be involved in an accident. Accidents typically are the result of driving too fast for conditions or following too close, both of which are violations of our Vehicle Code. Under Pennsylvania law, a person can be guilty of driving a vehicle at an unsafe speed even if he or she is driving under the applicable posted speed limit. Another common traffic violation is failure to maintain the proper lane of travel. Although this violation carries no points, if it is committed by driver in a commercial motor vehicle it will be assigned as a serious traffic offense.

Drivers also need to be aware that the Vehicle Code imposes a duty for any driver involved in a motor vehicle accident to move his or her vehicle out of the travel lane so that it is not obstructing traffic. This duty applies under the following circumstances:

• There is he no one apparently seriously injured or dead;

• The vehicle to be moved does not require towing;

• The vehicle can be moved safely.

There is a caveat to this rule that allows the decision to be made based upon the judgment of the driver. It should be pointed out that compliance with this law does not excuse compliance with the duty to exchange information and/or render aid.

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