How Bad Weather Can Increase Truck Accident Risks

There are more than 500 fatal auto accidents in Maryland every year. We all know that driving in poor weather can make serious and fatal accidents more likely; it’s estimated that 15% of all deadly auto accidents nationally happen in bad weather. Bad weather and truck accidents also go hand-in-hand; they’re also more common in adverse weather conditions.

Below you’ll learn how bad weather can increase truck accident risks. If you have been in a truck accident, talk to a Maryland truck accident lawyer at Pinder Plotkin to learn if you have a case.

Rain and Snow

Any time there is a higher risk of truck accidents, these adverse weather conditions may cause the truck tires to lose traction on Maryland roads. Things can get slick fast when precipitation mixes with pre-existing oil on the pavement. Heavy rain can cause standing water on the highways, potentially leading to a hydroplaning accident.

When there is precipitation and you need to drive, keeping your distance from commercial trucks as much as possible is best. The truck will create a lot of road spray that makes it hard to see, so keep your distance to stay safe.

Wind

Wind also can lead to more truck accidents. Heavy winds make it more difficult to see when snow, debris, or dust are blown. Also, wind-driven debris or snow can pile up on the roads and obstruct a lane.

Crosswinds also are a significant problem for big rigs in lousy weather. When a wind gust hits a truck sideways on the highway, the rig could get blown into your lane or even off the road. If you must pass a truck in heavy wind, do so quickly without exceeding the speed limit.

Truck Drivers Must Drive Safely at All Times

If you ever get hit by a truck in bad weather, know that truck drivers are required by federal law to drive carefully in hazardous weather that affects traction, braking, control, and visibility. The US Code of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) makes several important points about truckers driving in bad weather:

  • They must use excellent judgment and drive defensively. It doesn’t matter how experienced the truck driver is. If he must drive in poor weather, he must use extreme care around other vehicles. After all, non-professional drivers may not have the same skill level as truck drivers. The trucker should pull over if the weather is too hazardous to continue safely.
  • Truckers must slow down. The truck driver must slow down if the weather has affected visibility or traction too much. Hydroplaning and jackknife accidents happen when truckers drive too fast for weather conditions.
  • Truckers must turn on their lights. When visibility decreases, truckers must turn on their lights so others can see both the tractor and trailer in bad weather.
  • They must be ready to stop at any moment. Trucks take much longer to stop than cars. So, truck drivers need to be prepared to slow down at any time in poor weather conditions. If the driver is distracted, he could quickly slam into a car before him and seriously injure or kill the occupants.

If a truck driver ignores these vital rules in lousy weather and causes an accident, others can be seriously injured. In addition, commercial truck drivers are always obligated to drive safely, so if they disregard the rules, they and their employers can be found negligent.

Always Check the Weather Before Driving

The weather in the Baltimore area can turn for the worse quickly. So, you should check the weather regularly before hitting the road. If there’s a storm and driving is hazardous, staying off the streets is best until the weather clears. Remember that truckers also have difficulty controlling their rigs in bad weather. So, it’s safest to avoid the busy highways in the Baltimore area in adverse weather conditions.

Other tips to avoid truck accidents in bad weather include:

  • Stay out of the trucker’s blind spots. It is always dangerous to be in a truck driver’s blind spots on the sides and rear of the trailer. But when there is bad weather, it’s incredibly hazardous. Road spray may make seeing a passenger vehicle in rain, snow, or fog even more difficult.
  • Leave a lot of space when passing. When the roads are slick, you should leave plenty of room when passing a truck and moving over. Wait to move into their lane until you can see the driver in your mirror.
  • Watch where you pull over on the interstate. Some interstate shoulders are narrow. If you pull over in bad weather, the truck driver may have difficulty seeing you until it is too late. It’s better to pull over at a rest stop or gas station. Also, the Maryland Move Over Law requires you to change lanes or slow down when approaching any parked vehicle showing hazard warning lights.

Contact Our Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers Now

If you are injured in a truck crash in bad weather, you could have many medical bills and thousands of lost work time. Getting back on your feet will take money and time. Fortunately, a Maryland weather-related truck accident lawyer can help you get compensation for your losses. Call Pinder Plotkin today for assistance with your truck accident case.

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