The Worst of Both Worlds – Commercial Trucks and Winter Driving
It’s the most wonderful time of the year unless you’re driving. Bad weather conditions can cause a lack of traction on the roads, so a truck may need a much longer distance and a longer time to stop. Colder weather is harsher on commercial trucks and may cause those hanging on to finally break down – possibly while on the road.
If you suffered an accident in a winter wonderland caused by a commercial truck that landed you in a hospital, The Fleck Firm can help you recover compensation for your injuries and lost income. Call us today at (270) 446-7000 to learn more.
Are Large Trucks Good In The Snow?
Not necessarily. Like all vehicles commercial trucks, the giants of Kentucky’s roadways face increased dangers during the winter. While snow-covered landscapes may be beautiful, hazards lurk beneath the icy surface, making winter driving hazardous for truckers and motorists. Here are some reasons why.
- Less Traction
Snow, ice, sleet, and freezing rain transform roads into treacherous terrains, testing the skills and patience of even the most experienced truck drivers. Commercial trucks’ sheer size and weight (up to 80,000 pounds) make them particularly susceptible to losing traction on slippery surfaces, increasing the risk of accidents, skids, and jackknifing.
Drivers must slow their commercial trucks enough to drive safely, including stopping if roads are slippery with water, ice, or snow. They should pull over and stop driving if the situation is dangerous enough. Drivers eager to get their loads to their destinations may risk an accident to complete their trip as soon as possible.
The struggle to maintain control over commercial trucks in less-than-ideal conditions becomes a more significant challenge if a driver is traveling too fast for conditions, distracted, tired, or intoxicated.
- Limited Visibility, Increased Vulnerability
Fog, rain, sleet, snowfall, and early darkness create an environment where it’s difficult to see road conditions and other vehicles. Drivers may not appreciate the dangerous road conditions and be unable to see where vehicles are and predict what they might do next. This can lead to lost control or a commercial truck sideswiping another vehicle sharing the road.
This level of focus, plus the stress of driving in winter conditions, can tire drivers more quickly than if they traveled in ideal circumstances. A stressed, distracted truck driver in bad weather may be a recipe for a disaster.
- Snow Falling Off Vehicles
Winter storms make roads slippery and pose additional risks for commercial trucks. Snow accumulation on the roof and trailer of these trucks may suddenly fall off, creating hazards for vehicles
behind them. It may cause other drivers to try to weave around the pile of snow or result in lost traction. Either situation may cause a vehicle crash.
- Mechanical Challenges in the Winter
Winter’s colder temperatures, rain, ice, and snow can impact a commercial truck’s ability to function safely. Older tires that may work well enough on clear roads may lose traction when they’re covered in water, snow, or ice. Trucks may be unable to stop in time to avoid a crash, and turns may result in a jackknife. In extreme cold, mechanical components may fail, posing a substantial risk to the truck and surrounding vehicles.
- Inexperienced Drivers May Not Be Safe in Bad Driving Conditions
As commercial truck drivers quit to work less stressful jobs and older drivers retire, trucking companies recruit new drivers. Classroom learning may not sufficiently equip inexperienced drivers to safely navigate their 80,000-pound truck through a snowstorm at night in traffic.
Are Trucks Safer Than Cars in the Snow?
It depends on the truck and the car. Not always. No matter what you drive, inexperienced drivers cause more accidents. In the case of commercial trucks, given their size and potential speed, their accidents can result in more severe and fatal injuries.
Speak To a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Have questions about your legal rights to compensation due to being injured in an accident caused by a commercial truck? If so, contact The Fleck Firm at (270) 446-7000 to schedule your free consultation. We’ll discuss your accident, how state law may apply in your case, and your best options going forward. Insurance companies have lawyers. You should have one, too.