Truck wrecks happen for many reasons, including poor driving conditions due to weather. When there is bad weather, the incidence of truck accidents rises, suggesting that those who operate these vehicles should take proper precautions in advance.
Bad weather is a common defense used by drivers when inclement conditions existed at the time of the accident since these are situations where the incident may not have been within the driver’s control.
Yet truck wreck attorneys know that weather is not an excuse when drivers are simply not being careful during inclement weather conditions. Proving the truth means taking a closer look at what happened on the day of the incident, what the weather conditions actually were, and how the driver responded to them.
Poor Road Conditions Affect Big Rigs
Heavy trucks can be drastically affected by poor road conditions. They handle differently, take longer to slow down, and can slip or slide more easily than when traveling on dry roads. Whether poor road conditions are due to rain, snow, ice, wind, or even blinding sunlight, drivers must be aware that such conditions could lead to truck wrecks and recognize the need to do whatever is necessary to avoid any problems.
While proper driver training can help, truck wreck attorneys emphasize that drivers must simply exercise caution when driving in these conditions and avoid taking unnecessary risks.
Federal Regulations on Bad Weather Driving
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for creating safety rules for commercial carriers. According to federal regulations, those who operate large trucks are required to exercise extreme caution during potentially hazardous conditions and adjust their driving accordingly.
It is expected that in any non-ideal weather conditions, operators are to slow their vehicles appropriately and drive defensively to prevent truck wrecks. In some states, trucks are required to stay off the road during certain weather extremes as a preventive measure.
Bad Weather Used As A Defense
Because of federal regulations that pertain to bad weather driving as well as the fact that every driver must modify the way they drive in such conditions, a defense suggesting that weather is to blame for an accident often does not stand up in court. This is because in most cases, the accident was preventable.
If driving conditions are poor enough where loss of control coupled with the inability to stop the truck to avoid a collision are actual concerns, truck wreck attorneys suggest that an operator has two choices. He or she must do whatever is necessary to prevent a crash from happening or pull over. This does not mean that every truck must get off the highway the moment a little rain falls; however, it does mean that prevention lies with the driver. Operators must recognize the need to take precautions as well as their own limitations.
Considering the above, using bad weather as a defense can be difficult or impossible to successfully prove. Truck wreck attorneys know that an operator must prove they did everything within their power to prevent an accident to make this type of defense acceptable. Since it is impossible for an operator who pulls over to cause an accident, ignoring this choice is also something that is considered. In most cases, bad weather truck wrecks happen as a result of poor judgment by the operator and failure to take vital precautions!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190