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Truck Accidents & Weather

Washington, DC Accident Lawyers

Dangerous weather conditions are a common contributing factor in trucking accidents. Weather affects the handling of the truck, and it also affects the driver. Hazardous weather conditions can cause accidents in any type of vehicle, but they pose elevated risks for large trucks. Truck drivers are required by law to use extra caution in dangerous weather.

Bad Weather

You can assume that any weather condition that would make driving a passenger vehicle more dangerous will also affect a semi-tractor trailer truck. What you might not realize is that conditions that may not seem like a danger to the average driver can play a large role in trucking accidents. Weather conditions that can lead to truck accidents include:

  • Rain
  • Fog
  • Snow
  • Sleet
  • High winds
  • Heat
  • Dust

Heat

Although most people do not think of hot weather as a particularly dangerous driving condition, it is a significant factor for truck drivers and their vehicles. Tire blowouts can easily cause a rollover in a large, commercial truck, and hot weather makes a blowout more likely. Heat also causes driver fatigue, the most common contributing factor in truck accidents.

High Winds

Wind can cause an accident in any high profile vehicle, and very high winds can even cause low profile vehicles to go out of control, especially in icy conditions. Large commercial vehicles are more easily affected by high winds than any type of passenger vehicle.

When a gust of wind sends a passenger vehicle out of control, the effect is usually temporary. When the gust ends, the driver can regain control and usually avoid an accident. When a big rig is hit by a gust of wind it is much more difficult to bring the vehicle back under control. Once the truck starts to sway, it can cause a chain of events that even the most experienced driver cannot reverse, leading to a rollover.

Weather and Fatigue

All types of dangerous weather can put a truck driver under constant strain, adding fatigue on top of the normal, inherent risks of dangerous road conditions. The stress of trying to control the truck, and problems such as low visibility, not only add to fatigue, they can take all of the driver's attention, making it more difficult to watch out for other vehicles.

Driver Responsibility

Truck drivers cannot control the weather, and in dangerous conditions, even the best, most experienced drivers may not be able to control their trucks. What they can control is how fast they drive and when to make the decision to stay off the road. Commercial drivers have a legal responsibility to use elevated caution in hazardous weather. However, pressure from employers to meet unrealistic schedules forces some drivers to take unnecessary risks. If you believe that hazardous weather caused you or a loved one to be involved in a tractor-trailer truck accident, please contact us today. The truck accident attorneys at Chaikin Sherman Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. are focused on obtaining justice for people like you – people who need a topnotch Washington, DC personal injury lawyer on their side.

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