You may not have a choice but to drive in bad weather, from fall storms to winter blizzards. You have to go to work, to school or to the grocery store. Sometimes, you're already out when the weather gets bad, and you have to try to get home for the night.

If so, you're putting yourself at risk. Officials report that weather is involved in about 22 percent of the annual crashes in the United States, or 1,259,000 out of around 5,748,000 per year.

Injuries and Fatalities

These car accidents take their toll. Whether-related wrecks injure about 445,000 people every year. At the same time, around 5,900 people are killed in these accidents. That's roughly 16 percent of the total for the year. It is interesting that the total deaths are not as high as the total percentage of all crashes, perhaps indicating that drivers are involved in far more minor accidents in poor weather, but they still clearly pose a serious risk.

Risky Conditions

Ice and snow are some of the most dangerous conditions that officials studied, along with sleet and slush. However, they also warn that rain and fog can limit visibility. Plus, wet pavement can lead to hydroplaning and sliding, even if it's not as obviously dangerous as a sheet of ice.

Can You Sue?

If the weather is responsible for the accident, whom can you sue? Don't assume you're always out of luck. Other drivers do have a responsibility to know the risks and drive in a manner that is safe for conditions. Just because a driver lost control on wet pavement or ice does not mean the accident isn't still his or her fault. You may be able to seek compensation if that driver did not respect the risks and put you in the hospital.

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