The Dallas-Fort Worth climate is subtropical, but also continental, with a wide annual temperature range. Precipitation can vary from less than 20 inches to more than 50 inches per year. Northers occur approximately three times a month in the wintertime, often accompanied by sudden temperature drops, with occasional periods of extreme cold. Thunderstorms are most common in the spring, with occasional heavy rainfall.
A fully-loaded 18-wheeler can be difficult to maneuver and control, even under ideal driving conditions. In inclement weather, a big rig can be hazardous to other motorists on the roadway. Under normal conditions, a large commercial truck requires 20% to 40% more stopping distance than passenger vehicles. This distance increases when roads are wet or slippery, or when truck brakes are poorly maintained. When a tractor trailer collides with a passenger vehicle, occupants of that vehicle are likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries.
How Does a Truck Driver’s Driving Patterns and Decision Making In Inclement Weather Impact the Safety of Others?
- Truck drivers must pay close attention when driving through rain. Any water on the road can reduce traction, which could cause the driver to lose control of the rig.
- Fog can dramatically reduce visibility, making driving conditions more hazardous. Truck drivers must reduce their speed accordingly.
- High winds can affect the stability of a tractor trailer and its load. Drivers must be aware of weather conditions in the area.
- An 18-wheeler traveling on ice or snow can lose traction and go out of control. Truckers must adjust their speed and maneuvering to suit conditions.
What Is a Truck Driver’s Duty of Care in Navigating or Not Navigating Roads During Inclement Weather?
Truckers have a responsibility to drive with extra diligence in inclement weather. Federal regulations require commercial truck drivers to exercise extreme caution under hazardous driving conditions caused by rain, sleet, fog, dust, smoke, snow, or ice that could affect visibility or traction. Drivers must reduce their speed, and if conditions are particularly dangerous, they must discontinue driving until it can be safely done.
Because of the sheer weight and size of commercial trucks, they can cause severe, life-altering injuries in a collision with a passenger vehicle. Frequently sustained injuries in weather-related truck accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury and paralysis
- Internal organ damage or bleeding
- Serious burns
There may be multiple potentially liable parties for a weather-related truck accident, including the driver, the trucking company, a truck or parts manufacturer, or another party. Our team of Dallas personal injury lawyers can evaluate the details of the accident to pursue all forms of compensation. We can determine the at-fault parties by examining police reports, securing data from the truck’s black box, obtaining hours of service logs, and taking witness testimony.
People injured through the negligence of others have a right to pursue compensation from the responsible parties. Available compensation for a truck accident caused by negligence will depend on the extent of your injuries and the circumstances of your case. Possible damages may include medical expenses, lost income, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, disfigurement, physical impairment, mental anguish, and emotional distress.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a weather-related truck accident, contact The Lenahan Law Firm at (214) 295-1008. Our Dallas truck accident attorneys have recovered millions for our clients.