Exhausted Commercial Truck Drivers and Inclement Weather – A Deadly Combination
Bone-chilling temperatures have shaken up even the most seasoned cold-weather veterans in the Midwest. The “polar vortex” pushing through Indiana has brought record freezing temperatures across the region— and life-threatening conditions to our state’s roads. Combine such conditions with an 18-wheeler / semi tractor-trailer, an overworked trucker and snowy, icy highways to create a terrifying nightmare for motorists in Indiana. Many drivers avoid hitting the pedal too hard when the weather gets bad, but too often truck drivers, already operating on a narrow time margin, may not — and the resulting consequences of their negligence can be catastrophic. The risks for truckers driving in winter storms increases, due to a few specific reasons:
- Truckers spend more time on the road than normal drivers. They suffer from exhaustion, which slows reaction times and can prove fatal when roadways are icy and snowy.
- Due to their sheer size and mass, trucks naturally take longer to stop — in messy winter weather, their stop time can slow even more.
- Heavy winds may cause a tractor-trailer to jack-knife or blow over.
- Truck drivers already have limited sight in typical conditions and rely on mirrors to see other vehicles. Snow, hail, rain, sleet and icy rain decreases visibility even more.
- Because drivers of smaller vehicles may unexpectedly skid out, truckers may have a difficult time gauging how others react in dangerous conditions.
Avoid driving when the roads freeze or when visibility is limited, and maintain a safe following distance from semi trucks or 18-wheeler tractor-trailers. Keep a safety kit in your car. If a truck collides into you on the road, immediately file a police report and seek medical assistance. Afterward, contact an accident lawyer to learn about appropriate legal recourse. Indianapolis trucking accident attorneys are here to help during emergencies. Even when poor weather is partially to blame for a crash, you still may be entitled to collect compensation from the driver at fault.
By Charlie WardWard & Ward Law Firm 728 S Meridian St Indianapolis, IN 46225 317-639-9501