Should Employers Force Workers to Drive in Dangerous Weather Conditions?

Photo a a dangerous city traffic situation

Certain weather conditions are extremely dangerous for driving. No matter how prepared motorists are, these conditions significantly increase the risk of being involved in an auto accident. Employers in New Jersey should consider these risks before they ask employees to drive to work. Winter car accidents can cause injuries or deaths for workers driving to their jobs.

  • Sleet: Sleet is a combination of ice, snow or rain. Between 2005 and 2014, sleet caused more than 210,341 accidents. Of those accidents, 55,942 caused injuries and 739 resulted in deaths. Even with good tires, motorists attempting to drive on sleet may slide out of control and crash into other objects or vehicles.
  • Ice: Sleet can cause roads to ice over. Black ice is the greatest threat because it is invisible. Vehicles cannot drive on black ice. This type of ice is most commonly found in darker, shaded areas, or elevated roadways. Depending on the weather conditions, black ice is most likely to develop on bridges first.

New Jersey authorities have already reported incidences of ice and sleet. Cold weather conditions may persist for a few more weeks.

Can Workers Sue Employers for Winter Car Accidents?

Some employers may require workers to show up to their jobs even though road conditions are too dangerous for driving. If a worker is told they have to show up, and they get into an accident on the way, it might be possible to pursue legal options against the employer. It would depend on the circumstances of the accident. There are some cases where this might fall under workers’ compensation. The best way to know for sure what options are available is to contact a personal injury attorney.