Truck Accidents in Bad Weather

Accidents are more likely to take place when the weather gets bad. Rain, snow, ice, and other storms increase the likelihood of drivers getting into wrecks which can cause personal injury and property damage. Even if you are a safe driver and understand the importance of going slower, other drivers on the road may not proceed with enough caution. This is when bad things can happen to people who are trying to do the right thing and drive safely.

When inclement weather hits, drivers must proceed safely and take necessary caution behind the wheel. This obligation means more in the context of commercial trucks, 18-wheelers, and tractor-trailers that can weigh 80,000 pounds and inflict serious damage on cars they strike. Obvious precautions include reducing speed and turning on your lights. The failure to act reasonably under the circumstances is a legal concept known as negligence. The law places a responsibility on everyone to act reasonably. Thus, if another driver hit you but it was not your fault, you can hold the at-fault driver responsible for negligent conduct.

Federal truck drivers have additional obligations when operating their vehicles during bad weather. Interstate trucking companies and their drivers must follow the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The federal trucking regulations specifically discuss periods of bad weather, and steps truck drivers must take when facing these conditions. The rule is contained in Section 392.14 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Specifically, truck drivers must use “extreme caution” when operating a vehicle in “hazardous conditions” which can include:

  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Sleet
  • Fog
  • Rain
  • Dust
  • Smoke
  • Conditions that that “adversely affect[s] visibility”

The rule first requires truck drivers to immediately reduce their speed when such inclement conditions exist. If conditions become more dangerous, the law specifically directs truck drivers to “discontinue” the use of the motor vehicle and not resume driving until the commercial vehicle can be safely operated. These rules are designed to prevent truck accidents in bad weather.

If you were hit by a truck in rain or bad weather, you can recover for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. An experienced truck accident attorney can help. Before you can recover damages, you first have to prove liability. Liability can be proven by demonstrating the defendant truck driver failed to act reasonably under the circumstances, whether by speeding or texting while driving. But in commercial truck accident cases, the legal burden can be more complex. With federal trucking regulations in play, recovering compensation can depend on identifying rule violations. For example, consulting an experienced trucking accident lawyer can make the difference in meeting your legal burden or failing to meet it. A knowledgeable attorney will know which forms of evidence need to be preserved and can identify different causes of action. Further, a law firm that specializes in truck injury cases can consult with expert witnesses who can visit the scene, inspect the vehicles, analyze truck data, and more.

Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz has fought for the rights of injured truck accident victims for more than 30 years. All clients have a team dedicated to fighting on their behalf and treating them with the compassion, dedication, and transparency they deserve. Always looking to go the extra mile, our lawyers do not stop until the job is done right. For a free consultation with an attorney today, call 800-529-4004 or complete our online form.