If you don’t already give tractor-trailers a wide berth on the road, now is the time to start. Winter weather makes these massive, heavy vehicles even more dangerous than they are under perfect road conditions. You can find information on what to do if you are injured in a truck accident here.
The aftermath of a truck accident can be extremely difficult to handle in terms of severe injuries, high medical costs, missed work, and securing accident benefits. At Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers, our truck accident lawyers are experienced and skilled at investigating these cases, gathering evidence, and dealing with insurance companies. Understanding truck risk factors can help you drive defensively around these vehicles.
Let’s Talk about Brakes
As an Ontario resident, you know that slower speeds are crucial to safe winter driving. Slippery conditions increase the amount of time it takes to come to a stop, so allowing yourself extra time and space to stop is highly important.
The incredible size and weight of tractor-trailers translates to more time and distance needed to stop. If the road is wet or icy, the risk of runaway trucks, jackknifing, and rollover accidents increases. Be wary of trucks that follow you closely or that are approaching at unsafe speeds.
The Driver Factor
Just because a driver is licensed to operate a tractor-trailer doesn’t mean he or she is experienced driving such a vehicle in winter conditions. Furthermore, strict deadlines in the trucking business often results in unsafe driver decisions, such as driving on too little sleep, speeding, and other reckless behavior. Don’t assume a driver’s skill or safety awareness.
Avoiding truck accidents has a lot to do with visibility. Here’s what to know about semi-trucks and potential visibility issues:
- Blind spots – The size and length of tractor-trailers means drivers have considerable blind spots. Educate yourself on the location of these blind spots, so you can avoid potential accidents. Truckers have blind spots directly in front of the cab, behind the trailer, and on either side of the cab. It is important to pass quickly and maintain plenty of space when you are in front or behind these vehicles. Many truck accidents are caused by truck drivers who change lanes not knowing that a smaller vehicle is in the next lane.
- Winter precipitation – Snow and freezing rain can make it difficult to see other vehicles and lane lines. Exercise caution when driving under these conditions, and never assume that a truck driver sees you.
- Failure to clear snow and ice – If a driver does not properly clear snow and ice from the vehicle, visibility can be impacted. This can occur if snow or ice slides down the driver’s windshield, if the driver does not clear windows and mirrors of ice or snow, or when a driver does not clear the vehicle’s lights.
When following a tractor-trailer, you also need to watch for snow or ice that flies off the roof of the vehicle. Increasing your following distance is a good way to avoid a problem.
Lack of Preparedness
Just as you need to winterize and maintain your car, truckers must be diligent about making sure all equipment is functional, fluids are topped off, and preventative maintenance is completed. From windshield wipers, to engine parts, to exhaust issues, it only takes a seemingly small problem to turn deadly when it comes to winter driving and tractor-trailers.
Call Us for a Free Consultation
Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers have served the communities of Hamilton, Brantford, and Burlington for forty years. We are passionate about helping members of these communities and the surrounding areas who have been victims of another party’s negligence.
Truck accident cases are often devastating, causing catastrophic injuries, pain, suffering, and considerable financial burden. We work tirelessly to recover damages to help you get your life back, whether that means pursuing an insurance company or suing the truck manufacturer. We will find who is responsible and hold them accountable. Call us at 905-522-9799 for a free consultation.