Personal injury attorney in Rancho Cucamonga holding red umbrella on rainy Rancho Cucamonga city street.

How Winter Weather Contributes to California Car Accidents

In Rancho Cucamonga, we enjoy nice weather for most of the year. But during the winter, the temperatures drop a little bit, and we see more adverse weather conditions. In the summer, we see average highs in the 80s or 90s and average lows in the 60s. But in the winter months, we see average highs in the 60s and average lows in the 40s.

Motorists in Rancho Cucamonga and throughout Southern California also have to deal with significant changes in weather patterns from summer to winter. Summer weather is mostly sunny with motorists becoming accustomed to driving in clear conditions. Then the “rainy season” typically starts around October and runs through April, which is when Southern California receives most of its precipitation.

Winter weather in Rancho Cucamonga and other nearby communities is a contributing factor in many of the car accidents that occur this time of year. In fact, according to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately 21% of all vehicle crashes in the US are weather-related, and the largest percentage of these car crashes happen during the winter months.

Car accidents due to poor weather cause more than 400,000 injuries each year, and more than 5,000 fatalities. And although weather may be a contributing factor to these crashes, there is usually negligence involved as well. In particular, one or more of the drivers involved may fail to account for the adverse weather conditions, which makes it more likely that a collision will occur.

Those who are injured in Rancho Cucamonga auto accidents during the winter should speak with an experienced car accident litigation lawyer to review the specifics of their case. If the actions of another motorist or a third party caused or contributed to the accident, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Get in touch with Muhareb Law today for a free consultation and case assessment.

Winter Weather Conditions that Contribute to California Car Accidents

Inclement weather can affect motorists’ capabilities in a number of different ways. Here are some of the most impactful adverse weather events that Rancho Cucamonga drivers should watch out for:


As we talked about earlier, Southern California receives the majority of its precipitation during the late fall and winter months. During this time, Rancho Cucamonga motorists have to deal with many rainy days and some occasional snowfalls. If you are driving in mountainous regions with higher elevations, then you will see more frequent snow as well.

Precipitation can cause reduced visibility, slippery driving conditions, decreased traffic speeds, and increased travel times, all of which increase the likelihood of a car accident. The heavier the downpour, the more the inclement weather will impact motorists and their ability to safely operate their vehicles.


When two competing weather patterns converge, it can produce foggy conditions. Fog is often accompanied by precipitation, but not always. The main way fog affects driving is by reducing visibility, and the thicker the fog, the more difficult it is for motorists to see what is in front of them. This can cause them to miss important things that are happening, such as another car entering a vehicle’s blind spot or a pedestrian crossing the road in front of them.

High Winds

Motorists in Rancho Cucamonga and throughout Southern California are all too familiar with the Santa Ana winds that frequently wreak havoc during the winter months. Wind gusts that often exceed 100 mph have been responsible for numerous rollover vehicle accidents, downed trees, wildfires, and other forms of damage. Motorists must be very careful during exceedingly windy days, especially those who drive SUVs, pickup trucks, and large tractor-trailers that are most susceptible to rollovers.

Pavement Conditions

As with many other communities, a number of Rancho Cucamonga’s streets and roads are in need of repair. In fact, the city just recently initiated a transportation infrastructure assessment and improvement plan. Pavement conditions that are already in disrepair begin to worsen considerably when winter weather arrives. 

For example, hitting a pothole when the road is icy can cause a car to slide a significant distance and crash into another vehicle, object, or even a person. Adverse weather conditions may also cause the roads to deteriorate further, making infrastructure upgrades even more urgent.

Water Levels

Many areas of California are vulnerable to flash flooding. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the flood risk is growing every year, but funding for flood management and infrastructure improvements is not keeping up. Many Southern California cities are susceptible to flash floods because of “inadequate drainage systems and impermeable surfaces – such as streets and parking lots”.

This means that heavy rainfalls during the winter months can easily result in standing water on the roadways. This of course is very dangerous for motorists, and it greatly heightens the risk of car accidents. Standing water is no picnic for pedestrians either. Having to cross the roads when there is flash flooding can result in more slips and falls, increasing the likelihood of a pedestrian crash.

Sun Glare

Although there is a lot more precipitation during the winter months in Southern California, there are still plenty of sunny days as well. What many motorists fail to realize, however, is that the days are significantly shorter during this time of the year, which often means having to deal with more sun glare during commutes to and from work.

At one time or another, every Rancho Cucamonga driver has dealt with sun glare – the blinding sunlight that suddenly strikes your windshield and makes it nearly impossible to see what is in front of you. To make matters worse, bright sunlight can also obscure the view of pedestrians nearby, making it hard for them to see vehicles.

As you might expect, car accidents caused by sun glare occur most frequently during the early morning and late afternoon. They also happen most commonly during the winter and early spring.

It is important to realize that a motorist who initiates a crash due to sun glare cannot blame the accident on Mother Nature. The reason is that bright sunlight is a predictable event – unlike an earthquake or mudslide, for example. 

Commuters can find out what time the sunrise and sunset will occur in their area simply by watching a weather report. As such, they are responsible to know this information and take reasonable steps to operate their vehicles as safely as possible even while knowing they will face bright sunlight.

Contact a Skilled Car Accident Litigation Attorney in Rancho Cucamonga

There is no doubt that winter weather conditions increase the risk of car accidents in Southern California. However, adverse weather does not absolve motorists of their responsibility to drive safely in spite of the weather and do what they can to avoid a crash. 

If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a Rancho Cucamonga area car accident, get medical treatment right away, then contact Muhareb Law Group to discuss your legal case. Set up your free, no-obligation consultation today by calling (909) 519-5832 or sending us an online message. We are ready to go to work for you!