A REVIEW OF CASE LAW RELATING TO LIABILITY FOR SKIDDING ACCIDENTS

One of the greatest problems facing highway departments is slippery pavements in nonfreezing, wet weather. Because of increased legal duties imposed on public entities, highway departments find themselves exposed to liability for accidents that result from what used to be considered purely weather-related causes. Immunities are being weakened, engineering decisions are subject to review, and personal responsibilities are being imposed. A program of skid testing is imperative for early detection of low skid resistance areas. The use of mandatory minimum skid numbers is warned against because of possible adverse legal implications. Grooving, as well as other methods, has proven to be a solution to problems of low skid resistance. Generally, a public entity is not liable for a highway made slippery by rain alone; however, public entities may be held laible for hazardous lowskid resistance conditions that result from their own actions or inactions (worn pavements; defectively designed, slippery PCC pavements; unplanted eroding cut-slopes; improperly applied seal coats; and clogged drains and drainage ditches that cause ponding). They also may be found liable when conditions are purely weather created and the hazard is such that the public entity has a duty to remove it entirely or ameliorate it by the use of warning signs. The reasonableness of the public entity's actions generally will be the deciding factor on whether liability will ensue.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: pp 1-14
  • Monograph Title: Skid resistance
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00096425
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309023688
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 15 1975 12:00AM