When weather conditions deteriorate, the risk for a truck accident increases. Other factors like increased holiday traffic and driver negligence can increase the risk even further. Extreme weather like heavy snow, ice, wind and rain affect any driver’s ability to control their vehicles, so it is best to keep off the roads during inclement weather. It is not always possible though, especially since these conditions can be unpredictable.
Larger Trucks are Harder to Control
Since big trucks are longer, wider, and heavier than cars, they are more difficult to maneuver and control. Even the most experienced truckers get into accidents during adverse weather conditions. Precipitation like snow and rain make it harder to see and can affect pavement friction, making the roads slippery. Heavy rains and snow can also lead to standing water on roads, road obstruction, and even lane submersion. Fog is another concern, as it decreases visibility.
Truck drivers should be trained to drive in various types of weather and need to reduce speeds in poor weather conditions. When accidents occur, both drivers and their trucking companies could be held liable if driver negligence is a contributing factor to the crash.
Climates Affect Truck Performance
Just like extreme weather can affect how a car performs, it can wreak havoc on a large truck. If the weather is very cold or hot, it can damage a truck’s battery. If the battery dies, the truck could have to pull over on a busy highway, presenting danger to the other vehicles sharing the road. The cold can also cause motor oil to get thick, which means that the truck may not be able to start. Extreme heat can cause the battery terminals to corrode and cause engine problems.
Truck companies and drivers are responsible for ensuring that their vehicles are properly maintained year-round to avoid these situations. A broken-down tractor trailer on a highway, especially in poor weather, is a serious threat for the driver and others.
Commercial Truck Driver Regulations
Section 392.14 of the U.S. Code of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations includes federal laws that govern how commercial truckers must drive in poor weather conditions; they must turn on their lights when visibility is compromised. They also must decrease speed if the weather is affecting road visibility or traction in any way.
Truckers also need to be ready to stop in a moment’s notice and should be more alert in poor weather. During an emergency, they must be ready to apply their brakes in a quick and controlled manner. If they are not focused on their driving and apply them late, they could get in a serious accident. Being overconfident can also be dangerous since weather is unpredictable and other motorists may not be as experienced. Using sound judgment and driving defensively is the safest way to travel on the road.
Virginia Beach Accident Lawyers Help Injured Truck Accident Victims
If you were involved in a truck accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our experienced Virginia Beach accident lawyers will help you obtain legal counsel. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we pride ourselves in helping clients that have suffered injuries from truck accidents. Contact us onlineor call us at 757-352-2237 for a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we also serve clients in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.