Car accident, slip, trip or fall on ice.

Local Authorities have an obligation to maintain primary routes and roads in the advent of adverse weather. This means that in most cases when ice, frost or snow is forecast salt or grit Lorries needs to have applied a layer of media to the road. This article looks at the subject of winter maintenance of roads and the implications of accidents and subsequent accident claims.

At Manners Pimblett our team of writers have researched the subject of winter salting of roads and they are surprised to have discovered that the process of winter maintenance of roads by local authorities is a complex subject. You may have a minor skid in your car or be involved in a major traffic accident resulting in multiple injuries - if the road is untreated then this may have had a contributing factor to the car accident.

How does salt melt ice and snow?

Normally when we consider melting ice or snow, our first thought is the application of heat. We all know that heat will melt snow and ice. Just pour some hot water from your kettle on ice and it will melt. So what happens when we add salt to ice and snow, how does salt melt ice? The truth is - and are you ready for this? Ice and snow is not melted by salt! Do not be alarmed the process is far more complex than the simple application of heat. If you add salt to water, it changes its chemical composition and lowers the freezing point. So water remains water in sub zero conditions and not slippery under foot or to your car. Clever stuff! So all your local authority is doing is lowering the freezing point of water when they bring out the gritting trucks.

Is that it?

Not really, the process is far more complex than you think. At about -6 degrees ice can not be affected by the salt so salting a road is not as effective as it should be. Although the gritty consistency of the salt can provide more traction for cars in snow and ice.

Had an accident and the local authority had not gritted?

If you have had a car accident on an icy road then you may be able to claim against your local authority subject to the following criteria:

  • The Police attended the accident
  • It was a primary route
  • You were not at fault

If you have had an accident on a primary road and it can be proved that the local authority has not done their job and in not doing so this may have caused your accident. Then you have grounds to seek compensation. If you wish to seek advice about a car accident, slip, trip or fall in cold and icy conditions, then call Manners Pimblett on 0800 990 3500.

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