Weather can increase the risk of a truck-car accident because of the dangerous road conditions that it creates. Additionally, handling a large truck can be much more difficult when the weather is poor.
Speeding in Inclement Weather
Speeding in any conditions can increase the risk of a serious accident. It’s especially dangerous when roadways are icy, snowy or rainy. Unfortunately, some truck drivers fail to slow down in adverse weather conditions and may drive too fast, putting themselves and others on the road at risk.
Another issue with weather is that when it first starts to rain, people sometimes mistakenly believe that the roads aren’t wet enough yet to warrant slowing down. But oil on the road mixes with the rain when the rain shower is just starting, which makes it especially slippery. So caution should be used from the very start.
Icy roads are even more dangerous. Truck drivers should proceed with extra caution and even pull off to the side of the road if it’s not safe to drive. Black ice can be especially dangerous because it’s difficult to see.
Stay on the lookout for big trucks speeding on:
- entrance ramps; and
- exit ramps.
High winds aren’t typically an issue for passenger cars. But they can be a problem for trucks. Stability is impacted with high winds, increasing the chance of a rollover. And of course, high winds might also reduce visibility as they kick up dust, rain or snow.
Following Too Closely
Trucks require a lot more stopping distance than passenger cars. But this is especially true when the roads are slippery. So if a trucker doesn’t allow enough room to safely slow down or stop, it could result in a rear-end accident, or an override accident where the truck rides over the passenger vehicle in front.
Finally, an accident is more likely to happen when the weather is poor if the truck is loaded, especially if it is overloaded. They have a higher center of gravity, so sudden changes in speed could cause the load to shift. As a result, the truck may skid or rollover. Loaded trucks require even more braking distance.
How Weather Factors Into a Truck Accident Claim
Regardless of the conditions, all drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicle in a reasonable manner. This means taking into account the necessity of slowing down, increasing distance between vehicles and whatever else must be done in order to prevent an accident.
Poor weather doesn’t excuse someone from responsibility. So if this was a contributing factor in an accident, a determination will need to be made as to what the driver did or didn’t do to avoid it. Because of the complex issues that can arise in these types of truck accident cases, seek legal counsel if you or a loved one suffered serious injuries.
Call D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 following a truck-car accident in Denver. Or fill out our contact form to set up a consultation.