While driving in poor weather such as rain, snow, sleet or even fog may be challenging, it is no excuse for an accident, especially by a professional truck driver. Commercial trucks such as semi-trailers that are on the road up to 70 hours a week are bound to run into bad weather on a consistent basis. These drivers are trained to know how to handle poor weather conditions and should know when to slow down or get off the road altogether when it becomes unsafe to continue driving.
Regulations For Truck Drivers In Poor Weather
Truck drivers are required to adhere to stricter standards than passenger vehicle drivers due to the large trucks that they drive and the number of hours they are on the road. When it comes to poor weather, there are specific guidelines that are in place to ensure that large trucks do not pose a hazard to others on the road. Since these vehicles can be difficult to stop and control even in perfect driving conditions, it is imperative that drivers of these vehicles use extreme caution when in bad weather. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulation 392.14:
Extreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be exercised when hazardous conditions, such as those caused by snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust, or smoke, adversely affect visibility or traction. 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 foregoing provisions of this rule increases hazard to passengers, the commercial motor vehicle may be operated to the nearest point at which the safety of passengers is assured.
This regulation sufficiently explains that whenever driving conditions are poor, that truck drivers have a responsibility to be cautious to the point of stopping the vehicle until conditions improve. Using weather as an excuse for a large truck accident automatically implies that the driver did not adhere to this regulation. Illinois commercial driving license (CDL) guidelines, as is the case in all states, give specific rules to driving in poor weather such as:
- Fog. Do not drive in fog if at all possible
- Winter. If it is very slippery, you should not drive at all.
- Wet roads. Slow down, test brakes
Profits Over Safety: When Truck Operators Continue to Drive In Bad Weather
Unfortunately one of the leading reason that truck accidents happen in poor weather is due to the pressure on drivers to get their load delivered, regardless of the risk to others on the road. Pressure to meet time schedules and to get to their destination can persuade truck drivers to continue driving even when it becomes unsafe or to drive faster than they should in inclement weather.
When a large truck causes an accident that injures occupants of other vehicles in poor weather, using the road conditions as a reason for the crash is not acceptable. Victims who have been injured in these types of accidents need an experienced truck injury attorney that will investigate why this driver was on the road if the weather was poor and that will fight for fair compensation for their injuries. These types of accidents can be complicated, so having an attorney who understands commercial driving regulations is essential to ensuring that all liable parties are held financially responsible for their contribution to the accident and injuries.Truck Accident Attorneys, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, Hold Trucking Companies Responsible For Accidents During Episodes of All Types of Weather
One of the defenses favored by trucking companies to evade responsibility for an accident involving significant injuries to is to blame the weather conditions at the time of the collision. While such defenses may be commonly used by commercial carriers, the Federal Law imposes regulations on truck drivers to safely operate their vehicles— regardless of the climate. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is committed to fully prosecuting semi truck accidents involving all scenarios. Our attorneys use applicable Federal and State regulations to ensure that you and your family receive the compensation that you deserve. Contact us now to discuss your case with an attorney who has successfully prosecuted cases similar to yours.
Discussion of truck safety during times of snow, ice, fog, and rain: