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Milwaukee winter car accident injury lawyerLearning to drive in Wisconsin’s winter weather is a skill unto itself. Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures all increase the difficulty level of driving and, unfortunately, they also increase the chances of a car accident

Anyone getting behind the wheel this winter should familiarize themselves with the following tips in order to keep the roadways safe for everyone:

1. Use the Right Equipment

Winter tires are recommended in temperatures less than 44 degrees. Many people operate under the false notion that all-season tires are able to adequately handle winter driving. However, the rubber compound in all-season tires begins to freeze when temperatures go below 44 degrees. This means that such tires will be less effective at gripping the road. If you do not have winter tires, proceed with caution and the understanding that your car may not be able to handle all winter road conditions.

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Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, Milwaukee truck accident attorneyWinter driving brings a variety of hazards like slippery roads and decreased visibility. However, there is another less well-known danger that drivers should also be careful of, frozen road laws. Frozen road laws allow larger trucks to drive on certain roads that they would not ordinarily be licensed on. While this law allows trucks to perform road maintenance and keep drivers safe, motorists across the state should still be careful now that Wisconsin's frozen road law has gone into effect over all of its zones. Having larger trucks sharing the road can result in truck accidents, if drivers are not aware of how to protect themselves.

What the Frozen Road Law Is

The frozen road law is a law designed to make road maintenance easier. It permits trucks carrying certain wood products, salt, and sand for winter road work to ride on roads that they would ordinarily be too heavy for. The law permits trucks licensed up to 80,000 pounds to carry up to 98,000 pounds with no special permits. However, the law does not permit the trucks to use all roads. Most notably, the trucks are still not allowed on interstate highways if they were not before.

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miss-and-run-2Imagine driving down an icy two-lane county highway on a winter night, when suddenly an oncoming car swerves into your lane, headed right toward you. As you find yourself inches away from a head-on collision, you make a snap decision to pull the wheel to the right-rather than into the line of oncoming traffic. While you narrowly avoid contact with the oncoming car, the ice on the shoulder of the road makes it impossible to regain control of your vehicle. Your car flips several times before settling upside-down in the ditch. You are injured and your car is totaled, but the oncoming driver is nowhere to be found.

Fast-forward a month later...between the mounting hospital and medical bills, your totaled vehicle and time off of work, you are struggling to make ends meet. You are confident that having signed up for, and paying premiums on uninsured motorist coverage, all of your expenses will be covered. After all, this type of situation is the reason why you have insurance...but will your insurance cover you? The answer: MAYBE. In most cases, you will have coverage only if, in your altered state of mind, you had the forethought to forget about your injuries, lost vehicle, childcare and missed work, and take a number of arbitrary steps.

"miss-and-run" accident is one in which there is no physical contact between the vehicle holding the injured party and the vehicle that caused the accident, and there is no way to identify the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident. These accidents were once deemed covered by law, as long as the other driver's involvement was corroborated by an independent witness. [Wis. Stat. § 632.32(2)(g)2 (2009-10)]. The law served to provide coverage for legitimate cases where an accident was caused by a "phantom driver" (the individual causing the miss-and-run), and weed out cases where the phantom driver's existence could not be verified. It already excluded a number of legitimate cases (i.e., where a phantom driver did exist but no witness was available to corroborate), in hopes of limiting coverage to those where proof existed of the phantom driver.

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