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Inclement weather and large truck accidents

On Behalf of | May 16, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Bad weather conditions can significantly increase the risk of accidents involving large trucks on the road. Sadly, these accidents lead to many injuries and deaths each year.

Understanding how adverse weather affects these vehicles and their drivers is key for promoting road safety for all motorists.

Rain, snow and ice

Large trucks, such as tractor-trailers and semi-trucks, present unique challenges when navigating through adverse weather conditions. Their size, weight and limited maneuverability make them more susceptible to the effects of bad weather. For example, rain, snow, ice, fog and high winds. These weather conditions can reduce visibility, decrease traction and create hazardous road conditions that increase the likelihood of accidents involving large trucks.

Rain and wet road surfaces can lead to slippery conditions, causing large trucks to lose traction and experience longer stopping distances. Hydroplaning, where a thin layer of water separates the tires from the road surface, can result in loss of control and skidding. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that 12,000 injury accidents involved large trucks during 2020. In snowy and icy conditions, large trucks may struggle to maintain stability and control, increasing the risk of jackknifing or sliding off the road.

Fog and wind

Fog presents another significant challenge for large truck drivers. Reduced visibility can make it difficult to see other vehicles, road signs and obstacles on the road. This increases the likelihood of rear-end collisions and other accidents due to limited reaction time and space. High winds can also impact the stability of large trucks, especially when crossing bridges or exposed areas, leading to rollovers or lane drifts.

To mitigate the risks associated with bad weather conditions, it is necessary for large truck drivers to adapt their driving behavior and practices accordingly. This includes reducing speed, increasing following distance, using headlights and hazard lights for visibility and avoiding sudden maneuvers or aggressive driving. By understanding the risks associated with adverse weather and taking proactive measures to address them, both truck drivers and other road users can reduce accidents involving large trucks.