Most Maryland car accidents involve a number of contributing factors that led to the final collision. Courts and insurance adjusters will look to the totality of the circumstances when making determinations regarding fault and liability. Several environmental factors may come into play when evaluating an accident. In most cases, an outside influence, such as weather, impacted the accident. However, it is essential to note that an unavoidable weather event does not necessarily remove responsibility from an at-fault driver. While bad weather may exacerbate an accident, drivers still maintain the duty of care to modify their driving to adjust to the changing weather conditions.
Bad or unexpected weather can cause a chain reaction of events that can cause catastrophic injuries to other motorists, passengers, and bystanders. For example, a recent sandstorm resulted in a deadly pileup. An out-of-state highway patrol officer explained that a 22-vehicle crash occurred after strong winds caused a sand and dust storm. Many drivers began stopping their vehicles because they could not see the road.
The sudden stopping caused various collisions, including accidents between large tractor-trailers and smaller sedans. Ultimately, eight people suffered fatal injuries in the accident, including four children. Authorities believe that a thunderstorm about 90 miles away from the dust storm stirred up dirt and dust that led to the sandstorm. The Weather Service advised residents that the wind surges could reach over 60 miles per hour. Accident scene photos depicted piles of wreckage and vehicles pinned underneath large trucks. However, these extreme weather events are becoming more common as the United States has been encountering several droughts.