It is common knowledge that inclement weather can be a safety hazard on the road for any driver. In fact, statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) show that weather is a contributing factor to nearly 21% of all auto accidents in the U.S.
While we don’t have the exact numbers as they pertain to truck crashes, we do know that weather-related truck accidents often cause even more fatalities than those involving regular motor vehicles. Below, we discuss some of the risks of certain weather conditions and how truckers can reduce the risk of causing an accident during these times.
Adverse Weather and Truck Driving Ability
There are a multitude of weather conditions that can prove deadly when big trucks are on the road. Here are some of the most common poor weather conditions and how they specifically can hinder a truck driver’s ability to stay safe:
- Rain. This is the most common weather condition that causes a hazard for truckers. Rain can hinder visibility, reduce tire traction, and lead to road congestion. It can also lead to slippery roads, which can make braking difficult and lead to hydroplaning.
- Fog. Foggy weather can drastically reduce a trucker’s ability to see the road and other vehicles nearby. This can make it difficult to judge speed and the distances of cars ahead. It’s important for truckers to use low-beam headlights when driving through fog.
- Snow. Again, snow is another factor that can reduce visibility on the road. Freezing temperatures can also cause black ice to form on the road, which is essentially a transparent icy coating on the road that can reduce traction and lead to vehicle skids.
- Wind. Strong winds can create an especially hazardous situation for tall vehicles, such as tractor-trailers. This is because a truck’s center of gravity is higher than regular vehicles. Additionally, wind can throw debris in the air and hinder visibility.
The Responsibility of Truck Drivers and Companies
There are certain regulations that truckers must follow during times of inclement weather. For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all truck drivers to lower their speed when facing bad weather conditions. Failure to do so could result in penalties, including the removal of the truck driver’s commercial license. Other safety precautions that may be taken include vehicle inspections and planning alternate routes in advance.
Severe or extreme weather conditions, such as heavy snow or rain, may even require the truck driver to pull over until road conditions improve. Sadly, some truck drivers may hesitate to stop driving due to the importance of getting cargo delivered on time. They may even face pressure from their employers to continue driving despite severe weather. This can result in both the driver and the trucking company being liable for any accidents and resulting injuries.
Injured in a Big Truck Wreck?
“The weather was bad” is not a legitimate excuse for causing a big truck accident. Truck drivers have a responsibility to take certain safety precautions when driving through adverse weather conditions and road hazards. When someone else’s negligence puts you in harm’s way, you should not be responsible for the resulting medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
At Jamie Casino Injury Attorneys, our Savannah truck accident lawyers are here to protect your rights against greedy trucking companies and their insurers. We refuse to back down from a legal battle, and you have our word we will fight hard to ensure maximum compensation and justice on your behalf.
Hit back against the insurance company today! Contact our team at (912) 809-5335 to get started with a free case review!