At all times, drivers must exercise caution behind the wheel. This principle applies no matter what type of vehicle you are driving, no matter what day of the week, and no matter what time it is. Private citizens must also follow the rules of the road set forth by the city, county, and state within which the vehicle is being operated. Interstate truck drivers, on the other hand, must also follow federal trucking regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA is the “lead federal government agency responsible for providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs),” and its mission is “to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.”
In order to promote safe driving during inclement weather, the FMCSA lists five tips that truck drivers should take into account and follow.
- Reduce Your Driving Speed in Adverse Road and/or Weather Conditions
- Enter a Curve Slowly
- Reduce Your Speed Before Entering an Exit/Entrance Ramp
- Drive Slowly with a Loaded Trailer
- Slow Down in Work Zones
Truck accidents in bad weather are often tied to negligence, especially when a driver does not react accordingly. Drivers should begin to slow down during the following weather conditions – snow, rain, ice, wet roads, reduced visibility due to fog. Further, drivers should slow down when approaching curves and travelling on uneven roads, gravel roads, or construction zones. Failing to drive safely during bad weather could force a truck driver to brake suddenly in order to come to a complete stop, for example. This activity could lead to a jackknife accident with another vehicle.
If you were involved in a car accident in icy weather or snow, you should first call the police to the scene. In most states, it is required to call law enforcement. However, sometimes the police will not be able to respond in a timely manner, especially if road conditions are bad or if there are lots of other accidents.
If the vehicle that hit you was an 18-wheeler or commercial truck, it is important to look into the accident from all angles. A common misconception is that accidents in bad weather are not anyone’s fault. If it can be determined that the truck driver violated a FMCSA statute, liability may be established, as these standards typically go above and beyond the rules that ordinary citizens must follow. Essentially, truckers can be held to a higher standard if they break a federal trucking regulation.
Do You Need Legal Representation?
Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz is a large regional personal injury law firm, representing people injured in motor vehicle accidents throughout Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kentucky. Our trucking accident attorneys are versed in FMCSA regulations, and we have the resources to retain experts to assist us in investigating the accident and proving fault. For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer, complete our online form or call 800-529-4004.