Although local snowfalls in Louisiana are rare thanks to the subtropical climate, they are still a possibility when the temperatures drop. Although heavy snow is a highly unlikely event in the Bayou State, the risk for drivers when temperatures do reach the freezing point is still significant. In fact, meteorologists suggest that smaller, more sudden snowfalls have more potential to cause harm than the bigger storms.
Much of the possible increased risk of car accidents in light snow is likely due to driver perceptions. For instance, one psychology professor suggests that a delay exists in many drivers' notion that dangerous weather conditions are beginning, leading them to drive on slippery roads as they would in better parts of the year and with normal amounts of traffic congestion. Even the amenities that allow for warmer car interiors may alter some people's notions of outside dangers.
Furthermore, people may mentally attribute different levels of seriousness to the National Weather Service's winter weather alerts. Some may take an advisory less seriously than a warning for a blizzard or an ice storm, and such assumptions could have disastrous results when a light snowfall makes roads slick at rush hour.
When a motor vehicle accident occurs in winter weather, the issues that the weather creates can complicate determining fault. In many cases, however, the accident will be the result of a motorist failing to exercise prudence under the prevailing road conditions. In such an event, a personal injury attorney can often assist an injured victim in seeking compensation from the negligent driver.