Truck Drivers Must Show Due Care in Adverse Weather Conditions
Most people think of Florida as clear and sunny, but Floridians know that the state gets its fair share of adverse weather conditions. Weather conditions can increase the likelihood of accidents for any driver, but they are particularly troublesome for truck drivers. Truck drivers must show due care in adverse weather conditions to avoid truck accidents.
At Truck.Law, we are committed to improving road safety, as well as holding truck drivers and companies accountable when avoidable accidents occur. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact us today to be matched with an attorney in your area. Meanwhile, here is some important information on truck accidents in poor weather conditions in Florida.
What Weather Conditions Cause Truck Accidents in Florida?
There are three types of weather conditions that can cause truck accidents in Florida.
- Heavy rain and flooding in the summer months lead to poor visibility and slippery roads. Large trucks take longer to stop in these conditions.
- Severe thunderstorms further limit visibility and often come with high winds. These winds can cause trucks to lose stability and collide with other vehicles.
- Hurricanes are less common but devastating. Large trucks have no business on the roads during a hurricane due to poor visibility, large gusts of wind, and flooding.
These weather conditions are more dangerous when truck drivers do not exercise due care by reacting appropriately to weather conditions. Next, let’s look at what truck drivers should do to mitigate these risks.
What Due Care Should Truck Drivers Take for Weather Conditions?
Anytime it is raining or high winds are present, truck drivers should:
- Reduce their speed
- Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel
- Have no distractions
- Increase following distances
In addition, truck drivers should be aware of when they should find a safe place to park. Severe thunderstorms and hurricanes should prompt truck drivers to stay off the roads. These drivers have an additional responsibility to keep an eye on weather conditions so that they can take appropriate action.
How Do Violations of DOT Regulations Increase Truck Accidents in Bad Weather?
There are many regulations for trucking companies, truck owners, and truck operators to follow at all times. Failure to follow these regulations can lead to a truck accident even in good weather. However, in bad weather, these violations can be more devastating.
The primary regulation violations that cause truck accidents in bad weather are:
- All truck drivers must receive appropriate training for the specific type of large truck they are driving. Without this training, drivers may not know how to compensate for bad weather conditions.
- All truck drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This further shows they have the right training.
- Hours of service regulations limit the number of hours a driver can be on the road. A tired driver is a distracted driver, and this increases the likelihood of an accident in bad weather.
- Truck drivers are more limited in the medications they can take while driving than other drivers. This is to ensure they are as alert as possible. For example, a truck driver cannot take any form of narcotic while driving, even if prescribed.
- Vehicle inspections and maintenance requirements are in place to ensure that trucks are safe to be on the roads. Failure to meet these guidelines, particularly for brake systems, can lead to more accidents in bad weather.
It is the responsibility of truck drivers and the companies they work for to ensure that they have the right training, and equipment, and are following all DOT regulations.
Tips for Staying Safe in Poor Weather Conditions
While truck drivers have a responsibility of care, so too do other drivers on the roads. You also have a responsibility to drive safely in these conditions. Your attention to safety can also reduce truck accidents.
The best ways to stay safe in poor weather conditions are:
- Pay attention to the weather and stay home if conditions are severe.
- Increase your following distance of all vehicles, particularly trucks, when roads are wet.
- Use your headlights when visibility is poor so that truck drivers can see you easily.
- Avoid abrupt lane changes or braking on wet roads, as these can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
- Make sure your tires have enough tread depth to handle the water on the roads and avoid hydroplaning.
- Keep a firm grip on your steering wheel when there may be gusts of wind.
- Remove all distractions so that you can remain focused on the drivers around you.
If you follow all of these tips and truck drivers are responsible in their duties, you should stay safe on Florida roads regardless of the weather conditions.
Let Us Review Your Truck Accident Case
Have you been in a truck accident in bad weather conditions? While the weather may have played a role in your accident, the truck driver’s actions or inactions may be the ultimate cause of the accident. It is important to have your case reviewed by an attorney to ensure negligent truck drivers are held accountable.
At Truck.Law, we will match you with the best attorney for your Florida truck accident case. Our attorneys have years of experience handling cases just like yours. Contact us today for more information.