Plenty of vehicle crashes happen during bad weather. Fatalities are common due to snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Upstate New York for instance, is known for heavy snowfall. In such cases, there two crucial things that drivers of any motor vehicle must observe: extra caution and proper equipment.
Here’s what to keep in mind when on the road during inclement weather.
Truck Accidents in Rain, Fog, and Snow
You can’t stop bad weather from happening – but you can control how you drive. When there’s snow, rain, or fog, drivers, especially those of commercial big rigs, are expected to take extra precaution on the road.
Driving long distances for example, are already exhausting on its own. But add bad weather to the mix and suddenly, it’s a whole different story. It’s also possible that conditions change as you drive from one state to another. It’s even worse in winter, when roads are frozen and truck accidents are common because drivers need to deliver load on time.
The pressure to beat the clock often leads big rigs to speed, change lanes quickly, or avoid stops altogether, just to get the goods to its destination as scheduled. However, exhaustion and unsafe road conditions make for deadly outcomes. If you’re driving with trucks, watch out for jackknifing and dangerous rollovers, just to name a few.
Just because a truck accident was caused by bad weather doesn’t automatically mean that no one can be held liable.
It’s expected of drivers to observe proper techniques during inclement conditions. For example: if there’s a reported blizzard, it’s likely that trucking companies may require their drivers to stay out of the road until further notice. Violating this may be grounds for negligence.
If it’s proven that a commercial truck driver has been negligent (e.g. speeding, driving recklessly, unsafe lane changes) in a collision, then the victim may be entitled to compensation for his/her injuries. Getting help from a trusted and experienced legal expert is highly advised in such scenarios.
Staying Safe on the Road During Bad Weather
Whether it’s rain, snow, or fog, be sure to adjust your driving patterns to accommodate inclement weather conditions. If driving on icy roads for instance, don’t forget to:
- Use the right snow tires
- Check your windshield wipers
- Carry all-season windshield washer fluid
- Clean windows and roof of vehicle
- Dress in warm, appropriate clothing
- Ensure both headlights are working as intended
The proper equipment will not only help you drive better, it can save lives. Once you’re on the road, follow these safety tips:
- Watch vehicles from the other lane. If you see them slowing down, you might be going too fast.
- For long-distance driving, be sure to make frequent stops.
- If you get stuck on the snow, get out and check that the exhaust is not covered up.
- In case of sliding or skidding, remain in control. The last thing you want is to make sudden decisions, like make a quick turn or hit the brakes hard.
If sharing the road with trucks during bad weather:
- Avoid tailgating.
- Maintain a distance of at least two cars apart.
- Keep away from its blind spots.
- Watch out for falling load, wide turns, or tire blow outs
Collisions with big rigs can be fatal. Even if you were careful, there are always other factors at play. Drivers may be exhausted, or one or more of the equipment in the truck malfunctioned.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident, get in touch with a New York truck accident lawyer as soon as you can. A thorough investigation will reveal if bad weather has played a role in the incident.
Aim to get good legal advice for your truck accident case today.