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Winter Weather Increases Semi-Truck Road Dangers

Jason Reese

With the first real winter storm of the year underway, there are many safety concerns to consider. You might be thinking about how to keep children safe during outdoor play while out of school for weather reasons. You may be worried about family members or other pedestrians slipping and falling on ice. For certain, most drivers will exercise abundance caution while out on the roadways, but that may not be enough, as your safety relies also on the safe driving of others.

Winter weather conditions, such as snow, sleet, hail, ice, and wind, can play a major factor in any kind of vehicular accident. The stakes can be much higher with semi-trucks, which are even more difficult to control in bad weather. Poor weather or road conditions do not, however, excuse negligence on the part of the driver. In fact, federal regulations require commercial truck drivers to use extreme caution and to stop driving in severe weather. Drivers not meeting these standards may be liable for damages should their negligence cause injuries or wrongful death. On top of the failure to use extreme caution or to stop driving entirely during severe weather, other possible negligent driver behaviors might include:

  • Failure to Yield
  • Improper Lane Change
  • Tailgating
  • Excessive Speed for Conditions

In addition, the driver or truck company would be expected to properly maintain the vehicle, to include both standard maintenance as well as preparation for snow and weather conditions. The weather, driver negligence, or a combination of both can result in rollovers, head-on collisions, rear-end accidents, jackknife accidents, broadside collisions, underride collisions (during which the passenger vehicle runs into the truck and continues underneath it), or override collisions (wherein the front end of the truck travels over the other vehicle). As commercial trucks are often traveling on freeways or interstates, the likelihood of an accident involving multiple vehicles and victims are increased. Due to the massive size and weight of semi-trucks, the impact can be catastrophic for occupants of smaller vehicles caught in the way, resulting in serious injury and/or death.

Due to the general increased risk of accidents in hazardous weather, it can be a complicated task to determine if negligence caused an accident or if it was simply an unavoidable incident caused by the weather conditions. It is critical that those involved in semi-truck accidents during winter weather seek legal expertise before filing a claim. The statute of limitations can be very strict in these cases, so it is important to find trusted legal allies as soon as possible after an accident.

Were you recently involved in a winter weather accident and experienced traumatic injury as the result of another’s negligence? You may be eligible to receive damages that can cover medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. You may be grieving the loss of a loved one whose death you believe to be wrongful and the result of someone’s negligence. Let us help. Wagner Reese is an Indianapolis-based personal injury law firm with years of experience pursuing vehicular accident and wrongful death cases. Call us now for a FREE consultation: (888) 204-8440.

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