While vehicle accidents happen throughout the year, winter is a particularly hazardous time to be on the roadways. Winter weather results in dangerous road conditions including poor visibility, icy roads, and snow removal equipment slowing or blocking lanes on the highway. Additionally, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of truck accidents, as well as the number of accidents resulting in fatalities, increases during this time of year.
There are a number of reasons why more truck accidents occur during the winter, including Let’s examine each of these factors as well as a few ways you can avoid becoming involved in this type of accident.
Hazardous Weather Conditions
Sleet, snow, and icy rain all contribute to slippery roadways. Additionally, black ice, occasional fog, and blowing snow add to the potential for dangerous accidents. Because trucks are so much larger and heavier than other vehicles, even when they travel at a reduced speed, there is a good chance it will take a truck longer to slow down and stop on slick pavement – often leading to a catastrophic situation.
Lack of Training
Because of a burgeoning delivery schedule (due to the winter holiday season), many trucking companies bring on temporary drivers who may not have had the extensive training necessary to drive these enormous vehicles safely. This can lead to serious consequences when these inexperienced operators run into hazardous weather conditions they may not see on a regular basis.
Truck drivers often have tougher schedules during the winter months, especially throughout the holiday season. This means operators may forgo certain safety measures or drivers may not reduce their speed below the speed limit (even when conditions dictate they should), in order to arrive at their destination by a certain time. These actions increase the likelihood of an accident occurring.
Truck Driver Fatigue
The aforementioned pressure of demanding schedules, as well as the additional stress of driving in less-than-optimal winter road conditions, may contribute to fatigue behind the wheel. Fatigue has been shown to be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
Tips to Safely Sharing the Roadway with Trucks During the Winter
Although accidents are often unavoidable, as any attorney for car accidents in Marlboro will tell you, there are certain common-sense tips to help keep you safe as you drive down Route 80 or The New Jersey Turnpike during the winter months.
When it is necessary to drive during inclement winter weather, it is always important to slow down. Additionally, you should never speed around a large truck. This creates a dangerous situation at any time, but especially when the roadway is slick.
Give Extra Room
It is important to realize that truck drivers may not be able to see a car as they pass alongside them if there is not enough space between the two vehicles. Therefore, it is necessary to give plenty of room between any large truck and your vehicle – especially when sharing a lane or passing in an adjacent lane,
Avoid Blind Spots
There are several blind spots for truck drivers, and if you avoid these, you will automatically reduce the likelihood of being involved in a catastrophic truck accident. First, never pass any vehicle, especially a large truck, on the right. Secondly, avoid getting too close to a truck, either in the front or the back, as the driver simply cannot visualize those areas.
Dedicated Car Accidents Lawyer – Paterson
No matter how careful you are, accidents happen. If you, or someone you love, has been seriously injured in a large truck accident, it is important to reach out to an attorney immediately. At Kreizer Law, we understand the serious consequences of these types of accidents, and we have the experience to help you win the compensation you are entitled to. We invite you to reach out to our law firm serving Paterson with any questions you may have.