If you were injured in a truck accident when the weather was bad, the trucking company and trucker may try to claim that poor weather conditions caused it. While it is true that driving can be more treacherous in hazardous conditions, this may not have been why the trucker struck your vehicle.
If you can prove that the trucker’s negligence led to your collision, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. There are ways that a trucker’s reckless driving could have caused your collision.
Why Poor Weather Conditions Are Hazardous for Truck Drivers
Rain, fog, snow, ice, and heavy winds are dangerous for anyone to drive in, but the hazards increase when the motorist is a trucker. Here are some of the reasons it is so dangerous for trucks to be on the road in bad weather:
- No matter what the weather conditions are, it will take a truck longer to come to a stop than a passenger vehicle. When roads are icy or slick due to snow and rain, and the trucker is driving too fast, they may be unable to stop to avoid a crash, or the truck could skid and jackknife.
- Visibility is poor in snow, rain, and fog. A trucker can fail to see obstructions or a driver ahead of them who must suddenly slow down or stop before it is too late to avoid a crash, especially if they are drowsy, intoxicated, or distracted.
- Heavy winds can make it more difficult to control a truck. If the truck driver is not vigilant, the trailer can be blown into a different lane or roll over—with catastrophic results for victims in nearby vehicles.
Federal Regulations That Truckers Must Follow in Bad Weather
Because of the dangers of truck accidents in hazardous weather, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented regulations that truckers must follow. Violations of these regulations—and not the weather—may have caused your truck crash. Rules that the trucker may have broken include:
- Defensive driving. Truckers are required to use good judgement and drive defensively in bad weather. This includes pulling over until the weather improves if it is too dangerous to drive safely.
- Speed. Truck drivers must reduce their speed when weather conditions make this necessary—even below the speed limit if necessary.
- Lights. Truckers must keep their lights on when bad weather makes visibility poor.
- Stopping. In hazardous weather, truckers must be able to slow down and stop quickly in an emergency. The truck driver may have violated this rule when causing your accident.
Were you or a family member injured in a truck accident during bad weather? Our knowledgeable truck accident lawyers can help you prove that the truck driver’s negligence caused it and will fight hard for all the compensation you deserve. To learn about your options, call our Norfolk office to schedule your free consultation today.