For a 10-year period from 2002-2012, 23% of all vehicle crashes were weather related, according to government statistics. During that same period, wet pavement was a key factor in 77% of all weather-related fatalities. It is against that backdrop that I am writing about weather as a leading cause of truck accidents. This blog post is the third in a series highlighting the five leading causes of truck accidents.
Hazardous Weather Conditions Lead to Truck Accidents
Given the size and weight of the big tractor-trailers criss-crossing the roads of America these days, it is perhaps not surprising that they are particularly susceptible to dangerous weather conditions.
All sorts of weather can prove problematic for the big trucks. Below are just some of the weather conditions that can increase the risk of a truck accident.
- Sleet or hail
- Black ice
- High winds
- Extreme heat
Dangerous Driving in Bad Weather
Given the reduced traction caused by many of the hazardous weather conditions listed above, the skills and experience of the truck driver become particularly important during such conditions. A safe truck driver will be sure to avoid to the following safety violations that increase the risk of harm or death in a truck accident.
- Following too closely
- Driving to fast for conditions
- Improper lane usage
- Failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident
Bad Weather Increases Risk from Faulty Truck Equipment
When the roads are exposed to inclement weather, that is when a truck’s equipment needs to working at its best. Then hazards of truck equipment failure are compounded by the reduced visibility and control in a bad rain or snow storm.
As a truck accident attorney with more than 15 years of fighting for victims of truck accidents, I know the following faulty, worn out, damaged or broken equipment are especially problematic in adverse weather conditions:
- Worn out tires
- Broken, worn out or faulty wiper blades
- Broken headlights
- Broken tail lights
- Broken running lights
- Broken, work out or faulty brakes
- Any piece of equipment whose failure or breakage reduced the capacity of a truck to stop or steer