January 29, 2013

Truck Drivers Must be Extra Cautious when Driving in Rain, Ice and Snow

by Levin & Perconti

Slick icy conditions on the road this past Sunday resulted in numerous accidents throughout the state of Illinois. According to the State Journal-Register, police believed that as many as fourteen of the accidents they saw in the Springfield area alone on Sunday were the result of the terribly icy conditions. When the roads are icy drivers are more likely to not be able to stop their vehicle from sliding into other vehicles, crossing the dividing lines, and crashing into walls, poles and dividers.

While driving on icy roads is difficult in any type of motor vehicle, our Illinois truck accident attorneys want to remind truck drivers in particular how much more difficult it can be to control a truck in rainy, icy or snowy conditions due to the size and difficulty in maneuvering large trucks. The United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that a quarter of all speed-related large trucking accidents occur when the weather conditions are adverse. Given the length of many trucks, what might be a small skid or slide in a smaller vehicle could be much more serious and lead to a severe trucking accident. These types of accidents are often very preventable just by knowing how to properly drive in certain conditions as well as recognizing when it is unsafe to be on the road at all.

Because of how hard it can be to control a vehicle on icy and slick roads, drivers must remember to reduce speed and drive extra carefully to allow time to react if you start to skid, as well as also leave extra space between you and other vehicles on the road. If you start to feel that you cannot control your vehicle or that the visibility is limited please make sure to pull off of the road until conditions are safer to drive.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers the following advice to all truck drivers to help reduce the number of accidents that occur during adverse weather:
• speed should be reduced by 1/3 on wet roads
• remember the road is most slick right after it begins to rain because the oil on the road has risen to the surface
• speed should be reduced by at least 1/2 on snow packed roads

Keeping in mind these few simple reminders can help truck drivers and other drivers stay safe when driving in rainy, icy or snowy conditions and will hopefully help prevent further accidents and injuries on days with bad weather conditions.