7 mistakes truckers make in winter weather that causes accident
Truck Accident - February 1, 2023
It’s hard enough controlling a passenger vehicle when the roads get icy, but trying to keep control of an 80,000-pound machine can be almost impossible. Unfortunately, truck drivers continue to make mistakes that result in devastating collisions. You’ll learn about seven of the most common ones in this article.
1. Neglecting vehicle maintenance
When a truck isn’t properly maintained, it can experience issues with its brakes, tires, and engine, which can lead to a loss of control on the road. For example, if brakes aren’t checked and replaced when worn, they may fail, leading to a dangerous situation. Also, if tires aren’t adequately inflated or have worn tread, they can cause the truck to slip and slide in icy or snowy conditions.
2. Not preparing for dangerous conditions
Another reason trucking and winter weather are a bad mix is that winter often means treacherous road conditions. These conditions can reduce visibility, increase stopping distances, and make it harder to control the truck.
If a truck isn’t equipped with winter tires or chains, it will be harder for the driver to avoid obstacles and other vehicles. Additionally, if the truck’s heating and defrosting systems aren’t functioning properly, it can be more difficult for the driver to see the road ahead, increasing the risk of an accident.
3. Overloading the truck
Overloading a truck can reduce the stability of the vehicle and make it more difficult to control, especially in adverse winter weather conditions. The added weight can also put extra stress on the truck’s suspension and tires, making it more likely to slide.
4. Skipping pre-trip inspections
Pre-trip inspections are an essential part of preparing a truck for a journey and ensuring the vehicle is safe, especially in winter months. If pre-trip inspections are skipped, critical issues may go undetected, increasing the risk of breakdowns and accidents. For example, if the lights aren’t functioning properly, the truck may be less visible to other drivers.
5. Ignoring weather warnings
If truckers ignore weather warnings they put themselves, their passengers, and other road users at risk. Ignoring weather warnings can lead to trucks getting stuck on the road, creating hazardous conditions and potentially blocking other motorists. It can also result in drivers attempting to travel in areas that are closed or restricted due to weather conditions.
6. Driving on wet/icy roads and not reducing speed
Trucking and winter weather are also dangerous because drivers will often not adjust their speed to the road conditions. When they do this, it will be virtually impossible for the driver to maintain control.
Driving too fast on wet or icy roads can create a hazardous situation for other road users, ones who are doing the right thing by driving slower. They may not be able to take the evasive action needed to avoid an oncoming truck.
7. Not allowing enough time to reach their destination
If a truck driver is in a hurry and doesn’t allow enough time to reach their destination, they may be more likely to make dangerous driving decisions, such as speeding or following too closely. If a driver is running late, they may also be more likely to take shortcuts or travel on roads that aren’t suitable for their vehicle, increasing the risk of an accident.
Furthermore, if a driver is in a rush, they may not take the necessary breaks to rest and stay alert, which can lead to fatigue and decreased reaction times.
Drivers aren’t the only ones to blame for being a rush, however. Trucking companies often place unreasonable deadlines on truckers. When these drivers feel their jobs are on the line, they may feel forced to drive beyond their normal limits.
Even though federal regulations clearly define how many hours a trucker is supposed to be behind the wheel before getting rest, trucking companies will often ignore them. The reason is they’re placing profits over safety.
Let us help you get the compensation you deserve
If you’ve suffered a severe injury in an accident involving trucking and winter weather, speak to a Chicago truck accident attorney with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates as soon as you can. We’ll thoroughly investigate the accident to determine all the potential parties at fault. Liable parties could include not only the driver, but also the trucking company and others.