See A Fallen Branch? Avoid A New Haven Auto Accident.

March 20, 2024
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The weather patterns for spring have gotten crazy over the past decade and storms which used to be considered spring showers are now heavy with rain and wind causing serious damage to power lines and trees throughout the Elm City. There is a good reason to understand the dangers that downed power lines present to those of us driving through the city, but did you know that fallen branches from trees also present a threat of getting into a New Haven auto accident when you encounter them?

One of the main challenges to encountering a fallen branch from a tree that has been damaged in a storm is that no two tree branches or situations are the same. You might come across a pile of debris that fell all in the same place, it may be scattered across multiple lanes or you may come across one giant branch that has left the road impassable until it is cleared. It is one of these scenarios or any one of hundreds of others that could impact your safe travels as you drive throughout the city.

Your first step, especially the first few days after a serious rain and wind storm is to be on the lookout for these types of hazards. It doesn’t much matter if you drive the route you’re traveling every day or if you are taking a new route, you will not be expecting fallen debris from the trees above. However, when weather dictates it, it will be incumbent upon you to make sure you are aware of your surroundings and proceeding with caution.

New Haven and the surrounding areas are lucky to have a wide variety of tree types and some very old trees that have been standing, in some cases, for literally centuries. While these trees may be overall healthy, it is more likely that some of the older branches are brittle and break off a tree in a serious rain and wind storm. It is for this reason that you need to be extra careful when driving in and around the city after a storm.

Some of the dangers that are presented by fallen branches may include the following;

1.) Direct impact on your vehicle. This is something you mainly need to be concerned about during a storm, although in the aftermath of the storm there may be some lingering branches that have been hanging on, but are seriously weakened and may fall from above once the storm has passed. A direct hit to your vehicle could mean a shattered windshield, a dented roof and even broken headlights or tail lights that could make it more difficult for you to drive safely.

2.) When you approach a fallen branch or tree debris it may come on you suddenly and present a swerving hazard to you. The key here is to make sure when you are traveling down a heavily wooded street to drive with caution and even slow down below the speed limit so if you do come upon any fallen tree debris you have time to slow down and avoid the debris without having to swerve into the other lane and cause chaos or danger on the road.

3.) Do not drive over fallen tree debris if you can avoid it. Branches can be strong and puncture holes in your tires or damage the bottom of your vehicle. This damage could put you in a position where you may lose control of your vehicle and get into a serious accident. In this case, you may not realize your tire has been punctured until it loses enough air to make it difficult to drive safely and you may be well past the debris that you drove over in the first place.

As storms continue to intensify and weather related New Haven auto accidents climb, it is important to have a clear understanding of your surroundings and be aware of any debris that might be on the street. If there is a branch that is completely blocking the road you will obviously need to find an alternative route, but you may also want to report the hazard to city officials so they can have the branch removed and eliminate that danger from the commute of others.

In the event that you do happen upon debris that has fallen out of the trees and it puts you in a situation where you experience property damage or physical injury you may need to speak with an attorney who has experience with situations just like yours. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will review your situation and work with you to protect your long-term interests.