The Impact of Winter Conditions on Commercial Truck Drivers

January 16, 2017

If you have been injured by a commercial truck driver contact us online or call Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC at 888-777-7098 to discuss your rights and options under the law.  An experienced Easton truck accident attorney can help you through the entire legal process and work to get you the compensation you deserve.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a report, Weather and Climate Impacts on Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety, on commercial truck driving in winter conditions. According to the report:

  • Heavy snow causes delays, road closures, loss of traction, loss of visibility and other truck driver control problems.
  • Surface temperatures on bridges and ramps cool more rapidly than the surrounding roadbeds, producing hazardous local icing conditions that can result in crashes, fatalities, and property damage.
  • Black ice and light frozen precipitation glazes roads as temperatures fall over a short period, which causes vehicles to lose traction.
  • Winter conditions also place additional stress on commercial truck components, such as the cooling system, defrosting and heating equipment, wipers and washers, tires and chains, windows and mirrors, handholds and deck plates, radiator shutters and exhaust systems.

Many states have imposed special laws on tucker drivers to help deal with winter conditions, such as requiring commercial trucks to carry and use tire chains as snow conditions warrant.  Midwestern and northeastern states are particularly susceptible to sever winter conditions and truckers using roads in these states must act responsibly to protect themselves and other drivers.

Safety Steps for Commercial Truck Drivers

The American Trucking Associations has issued safety steps that should be taken by commercial truck drivers when confronted with winter conditions.  As part of our evaluation of your case, we will consider whether the commercial truck driver who caused your injury did any of the following:

  • Avoided extreme weather conditions. Did the truck driver take an unnecessary risk by driving in ice, hail and snow?  Like all drivers, truck drivers should try to avoid driving through extreme weather conditions.
  • Did the truck driver remove ice and snow from his or her vehicle before and, if needed, after driving? Clearing windows and rooftops of snow helps to ensure drivers have maximum visibility and avoids creating a hazard for other vehicles.
  • Was the truck driver driving at a reasonable speed? When winter weather conditions are present, speeding becomes increasingly hazardous.  All drivers should allow a significant space cushion and reduce speed when winter conditions are present.
  • Truck drivers must also be aware of truck blind spots. This means that truck drivers must drive defensively – especially in winter conditions – and remain aware of nearby drivers at all times.
  • Did the truck driver keep his or her eyes on the road? Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents.  It becomes especially dangerous when behind the wheel of a multi-ton commercial truck navigating hazardous winter weather.

These are just some of the issues we will consider when evaluating your claim.  After an accident, you should seek immediate medical attention.  If possible, try to get pictures or video of the accident scene.  You will also want to get the contact information of any witnesses.

Contacting Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC

Contacting an experienced Easton truck accident attorney is a great step towards getting the compensation you deserve for the injuries you have suffered.  The attorneys at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC are here to help you through the entire legal process.  We work hard to evaluate your case, preserve evidence, get you the medical attention you deserve and fight for your rights.