Garcia Law Firm
  • Garcia Law Firm
  • Garcia Law Firm
  • Garcia Law Firm
  • Garcia Law Firm

Dangerous Road Conditions - Weather

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Although most operators of 18-wheelers are safe drivers in good conditions, when the weather conditions turn for the worse, the roads become treacherous if they don’t practice even further caution. Safe driving techniques used in good weather are not sufficient for the same roads in bad weather conditions. The best strategy for driving in bad weather is to avoid it. Since truckers are paid when they make a delivery, most truckers opt to keep driving, no matter what the weather conditions are. Bad weather includes heavy rain, snow, ice, and fog.

Driving Tips
• Keep headlights on
• Keep distance from the vehicle in front of you
• Decrease your speed; it takes longer to brake on a slippery road
• Check the truck: antifreeze, windshield wipers, headlights, tires, battery
• Stay in one lane – avoid unnecessary lane changes
• Keep both hands on the wheel at all times

Although it seems like common sense for truckers to practice these safety tips for bad weather, it is not always the case. Such disregard for safety can lead to serious truck accidents.

Roads are the slickest when it rains. The rain brings oils that drip from vehicles to the surface. A flash flood can happen without any warning; it causes a lot of rain in a short time. Truck drivers should driving through high puddles. If the truck starts hydroplaning, the truck driver should take their foot off the gas and gradually press the brakes – not turning the wheel. If a thunderstorm begins and visibility is bad, a truck driver should pull over and wait until it stops.

Snow / Ice
Snow is particularly dangerous for trucks. But if the trucker must drive, they need to make sure that they clear the snow completely from the truck, including the taillights and headlights. Visibility is poor in a heavy snowstorm or blizzard; it is very difficult to see the vehicle in front. The truck driver must drive very slowly (no more than 25-30 mph) and never stop on the road.

Most icy patches (black ice) cannot be seen until you are on top of them and then it is too late – a skid can occur causing a very serious accident. If the road was designed with little drainage, the water freezes and thus, causing the road to be hazardous to those traveling on it.

There is very little visibility in fog – less than ¼ miles. If trucker must drive, they must drive slowly. It is difficult to see brake lights or traffic signs until the truck is right on top of them. Truckers must use their fog lamps or low beams, never high beams. They should also use their windshield wipers and defroster. They should also be alert for slow-moving vehicles and roll down their windows for any noises approaching.

Truck drivers cannot control the bad weather but they can control how fast they drive and when to stay off the road and not take unnecessary risks.

If you suspect that hazardous weather conditions caused you to be involved in a tractor-trailer accident, contact The Garcia Law Firm at (800) 281-8515 for a free consultation to advise you of your options.

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