Icy weather can cause truck accidents in many ways. Ice on the road can lead to a vehicle slipping and skidding. Icy weather can also make it harder to slow down or come to a stop to avoid striking a vehicle in front of you, which is especially important for truck drivers.
Icy weather is often accompanied by poor visibility. Rear-end accidents, sideswipes, and blindspot accidents can occur if a trucker cannot see vehicles, objects, or pedestrians to the sides of or behind his or her vehicle. Vehicles can experience unexpected breakdowns in colder weather, and icy weather can also accelerate road damage, which may lead to an accident.
Winter Weather and Trucking Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that around one in six motor vehicle accidents occurs in cold winter conditions. Driving in rain, sleet, snow, and ice is different from driving in dry or sunny conditions. Without adequate caution, preparation, or training, a truck driver may lose control of their vehicle or cause an accident when driving in cold, icy conditions.
Here are some of the ways that icy weather can cause truck accidents:
- By reducing the amount of traction that you have between your tires and the road, ice, and snow can make it harder for you to accelerate and stop your vehicle. Ice can also lead to slipping and skidding and can make it harder to perform basic turns.
- Vehicles may experience more wear and tear during the winter months. Small cracks in your tires can expand in icy conditions, and sidewall damage and air pressure issues can lead to tire-related mishaps.
- The NHTSA provides drivers with a comprehensive winter servicing checklist for their vehicles. Vehicle maintenance for winter is different from vehicle maintenance for summer, and maintenance issues can lead to an accident.
- Brake failures and tire blowouts in icy conditions can have catastrophic consequences, especially if a driver is unable to come to a stop or control his or her vehicle due to ice or snow on the road.
- Icy weather requires slower driving to ensure road safety. This can lead to longer periods between rest stops. Driver fatigue, distraction, and poor physical adjustment of the driver to changes in weather changes can contribute to an accident.
- Cold, icy weather may cause your battery to die out or drain more quickly, and this can affect your lights and other electrical components. These issues can have serious consequences if not quickly addressed.
- Ice or snow that accumulates on top of trucks parked in the open can fly off while the truck is in operation on the road. Large slabs of ice or flurries of snow can strike another vehicle or temporarily reduce visibility, leading to a collision.
- Winter weather may be accompanied by high winds, low visibility, and fog, and heavy rain or ice on your windows can make it difficult to operate your truck.
Avoiding Icy Weather Accidents
You may not be able to avoid driving in icy conditions completely, but here are a few tips on how you can lower your risk of being involved in an icy weather truck accident:
- Perform seasonal maintenance before winter sets in.
- Perform a thorough pre-departure check before hitting the road.
- Check your tire pressure, tire tread, and battery levels before every trip.
- Change to winter tires if required.
- A blowout can occur at any time, as can a brake failure. Make sure you know what to do in such an event and how to handle common accident types.
- Review winter driving rules regarding how much distance to keep between yourself and other drivers, safe driving speeds for different types of weather, and check where you can stop on your route if you face physical or vehicle issues.
Who May Be Liable for a Truck Accident Caused by Icy Weather?
When icy weather leads to truck accidents, multiple parties may bear liability, and determining them can get particularly complicated. For example, if a trucking company fails to maintain the brakes on one of its trucks, it may bear liability for an accident that occurs on an icy road.
In another example, a government entity may bear partial liability if it fails to maintain a road. Other potentially liable parties for truck accidents that occur due to hazardous conditions, such as slick roads, include:
- A negligent truck driver
- The manufacturer of a defective truck
- The manufacturer of defective auto parts, such as brakes
When truck accidents occur in bad weather and various parties may have contributed to the fault, seeking compensation can be difficult. A truck accident lawyer can help you handle the insurance companies and handle your claim while you rest and recover from your injuries. They can seek compensation for a variety of losses, such as medical expenses.
The Fitch Law Firm LLC Represents Truck Accident Victims
If you were hurt in a truck accident in Columbus, Ohio, The Fitch Law Firm LLC can help. Our firm handles personal injury insurance claims and lawsuits. If hazardous weather conditions, such as wet roads, caused your accident, we can get to the bottom of who bears the liability and seek fair compensation. We operate on a contingency-fee-basis with no up-front payments required of our clients.
Keep in mind that, per Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §2305.10, a general two-year statute of limitations pertains to filing a personal injury lawsuit in Ohio. The sooner you call The Fitch Law Firm LLC, the sooner we can get started on your case.
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