Weather Conditions Can Have a Major Impact on Trucks
May 19, 2017 - Truck Accidents by Cross & Smith
Weather conditions affect all motor vehicles. Often those effects are most pronounced for big rigs. While truck drivers generally benefit from a low risk of major injuries, any Tuscaloosa truck wreck lawyer can confirm that other motorists who share the roads with them are not always as lucky.
To help reduce the chance of serious truck accidents, drivers of smaller vehicles need to recognize how weather conditions can affect their own vehicles — and how neighboring trucks can pose greater risks.
Weather-Related Road Conditions Can Have Unexpected Effects on Motorists
The results of certain weather conditions are obvious, but those results may be more extensive than most drivers realize. And when they affect massive vehicles weighing upwards of 80,000 pounds, the risks are even more pronounced. The Federal Highway Administration’s Road Weather Management Program offers a list of weather events that impact roads, which includes the following:
- Wind speed reduces visibility by blowing dust and debris, which reduces truck drivers’ abilities to see smaller vehicles. It also affects the stability of top-heavy vehicles, making drivers more likely to lose control or even tip over. Other drivers should be aware of the risks and give semis a wide berth.
- Precipitation makes roads slippery, affecting braking distances for trucks more than for other vehicles. However, it can also create lane obstructions, requiring truckers to react more quickly than their vehicles allow. Other drivers can reduce the risks by maintaining a greater distance between their vehicles and all four sides of trucks.
- Fog reduces visibility distance. Considering the fact that truck drivers have difficulty seeing nearby small vehicles from their cabs even on clear days, low-beam or fog lights might help increase the visibility of oncoming traffic. Still, they do not help much when driving near trucks.
- Pavement conditions are very important when it comes to the braking speed for all vehicles, especially for trucks. When roads are slick (or even rough), drivers who can see a nearby semi behind them in the rearview mirror are at greater risk of collision.
- Water levels do not have to be very deep to block a view of lane markings, especially from tall truck cabs. Other drivers who recognize the increased danger of sideswipes will move to a more distant lane or maintain a position well behind or ahead of a truck.
Victims of Truck Accidents Require Legal Support
Semi-trucks are commercial vehicles, which means they typically have the backing of big truck companies supported by a team of attorneys that specialize in truck accidents. To help ensure that accident victims pursue full and fair compensation, they need experienced legal representation.
The injuries and other damages caused by truck accidents are often extremely severe, which is why truck insurance policies have high limits. Unfortunately, the high limits do not guarantee that the initial offer to victims will fully cover all losses. Truck accident victims should not sign off on any insurance offer without first seeking legal advice.
Alabama Department of Transportation 2014 Crash Facts
Other Blog Topics
Truck Wreck Lawyers Advise Drivers on How to Remain Safe Around Trucks, Tuscaloosa Truck Accidents Blog