Driving in inclement weather is dangerous for any vehicle, but particularly difficult for large commercial trucks that are hard to maneuver and require a longer stopping distance. If the weather conditions are too dangerous, truck drivers should stay at a rest stop or postpone the trip until the roads are safe. Truckers aren’t too keen on taking time off, however, because they get paid by the mile, not hourly. Sometimes, in the trucking industry, the quest for money apparently supersedes safety concerns and causes truck accidents.
Federal Guidelines for Trucking in Inclement Weather
In CFR § 392.14, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides specific guidelines for truck drivers so that they can avoid truck accident and bad weather problems. The statutes state that when a trucker finds him- or herself in a precarious situation, such as severe weather s/he is to exercise “extreme caution” when operating the commercial motor vehicle.
“Speed shall be reduced when such conditions exist. If conditions become sufficiently dangerous, the operation of the commercial motor vehicle shall be discontinued and shall not be resumed until the commercial motor vehicle can be safely operated. Whenever compliance with the previous provisions of this rule increases the hazard to passengers, the commercial motor vehicle may be operated to the nearest point at which the safety of passengers is assured,” the law provides.
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Who is at fault for a truck accident caused by inclement weather?
Truckers have a duty to drive their rig safely so as not to endanger anyone else on the road. If they are driving too fast for conditions, or they continued driving in poor weather even though it was overly hazardous (i.e., they violated the above statute), the truck company might be liable for the victims’ damages if a crash occurs.
Exercising extreme caution is the huge deal for truckers because driving in dangerous conditions can be so deadly. In fact, 25 percent of speeding-related large truck fatalities occurred during adverse weather conditions, reports the FMCSA. As such, the agency teaches drivers always to adjust their speed to match safely weather conditions, advising that they reduce their speed by a third on wet roads and by half or more on snow-packed roads.
Free Consult with a Truck Accident Injury Attorney in Ohio
If you or a family member was the injury in a weather-related truck accident, you are welcome to call poor weather truck accident attorney Bressman Law in Ohio. Call (614) 538-1116 or fill out this online contact sheet.