As a truck accident firm with experience in recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for injured accident victims, you could say that our team here at Arnold & Itkin LLP knows a thing or two about truck driver safety! As we head into a few more months of winter chill, we decided to compile a list of safety tips for truck drivers who may be operating in these icy conditions. Today’s blog post is written to provide truckers throughout the country with our top tips for maintaining their safety during the cold season.
Preparing for Weather-Related Hazards on Your Route
As the cold from winter approaches, many roadways become ice and slippery. These dangerous road conditions can prove to be dangerous and even fatal, if a truck driver fails to take the proper precautions.
Check the Cargo
First and foremost, we urge all truck drivers to check the cargo on board their trailers in order to make sure that their loads are properly loaded and secure. If anything seems to be loose, take extra measures to tie it down safely.
Perform a Safety Inspection
Before leaving, each driver should check their vehicle thoroughly, conducting an informal safety inspection of various parts of the truck including the brakes, tire pressure, tire tread, and the security between the cab and the trailer. Take this process seriously, and be sure to augment it with any other recommended safety measures.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Truckers should always remember to obey the laws of the road and to drive defensively. Never “tailgate” or follow closely behind another vehicle, and avoid treacherous roads whenever possible. Never drive over the posted speed limit, and remember that those speed limits are designed for optimal weather conditions. When the weather is bad, it may be necessary to drive much slower. An officer can still ticket you for “driving too fast for weather conditions,” even if you were operating your vehicle below the posted speed limit.
Stay Alert When Driving at Night
A truck driver should be extra alert when driving at night, especially in order to prevent sliding on "black ice.” Black ice is a thin frozen sheet of ice that nearly blends in with the road. This makes it an especially deadly threat, as drivers are often unable to see the ice before approaching it and therefore do not have time to avoid it or to make the necessary adjustments. In areas where black ice may be present, drive carefully and follow recommendations from highway safety officials. Make sure your truck has properly functioning lights an emergency equipment.
Take Extra Precautions During Winter Weather
Driving in poor weather conditions is among the most challenging types of driving, especially with a trailer weighing up to 80,000 behind! Ideally, only drivers with high levels of competence, experience, and skill should attempt to drive in these hazardous weather conditions. Taking on extra training or education is never something to be afraid of—even the most seasoned professionals continue to learn and grow in their skills throughout the duration of their careers. Understanding your limits and gaps in your knowledge is a way to protect yourself and other drivers. Choosing to pursue auxiliary training and education could save a life—maybe even your own.
Make Sure to Enjoy a Safe Winter Season.
Just as driving during the colder seasons is mandatory for many trucking companies and truck drivers, it is also necessary for other people in smaller vehicles. Whether the travel is work related or school related, or they are visiting home for the holidays, truckers share the road with many families and individuals of all skill and experience levels.
In traffic accidents between large trucks and smaller passenger vehicles, it has been demonstrated time and again that the occupants of smaller vehicles almost always experience the bulk of the damage, injuries, and even fatalities. Big trucks that extend four to five times the length of most passenger cars can do serious damage to these smaller vehicles. It’s important for all parties to be educated and aware so that they are prepared to share the road well, especially when the weather turns harsh.
Our Firm Fights for Truck Accident Victims.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, such as a weather-related accident on a dangerous road, immediately speak to a truck accident attorney. In some cases, the cause of the accident may be the fault of the truck driver, such as if the driver was texting while driving or fatigued.
Our firm is passionate about standing up for the victims of truck accidents. If you or a loved one was hurt in a serious accident, please call Arnold & Itkin LLP today at (888) 490-0442 to schedule a free case consultation with our team of caring and experienced traffic accident attorneys.