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How bad weather increases the risk of a semi-truck crash

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2024 | Car Accidents

The weather can have a major impact on road conditions. Even those who have just begun driver’s training are usually aware of that fact. Few drivers have more licensing requirements and hours on the road than those who operate semi-trucks for a living. In a perfect world, commercial drivers could consistently adjust their driving behaviors to reflect high wind levels and dangerous precipitation.

In reality, commercial drivers are typically subject to the demands of their employers and clients. They are often out on the roads when they are the most dangerous, including times of severe weather.

Weather drastically increases crash risk

Many different types of bad weather can put someone at elevated risk of a semi-truck collision. Obviously, snowy and icy roads are dangerous. Commercial trucks take longer to stop and are more unwieldy when turning or merging. Bad weather may only worsen those risk factors. Heavy winds are also a concern. Especially when the trailer of a semi-truck is empty, the massive size of the vehicle can make the wind particularly dangerous. Even rainy conditions can be a risk factor. Heavy rain can affect visibility and decrease the vehicle’s traction. Particularly strong winds or precipitation could be the underlying cause of a semi-truck collision.

Weather issues can affect a compensation claim

There is an expectation that drivers of all types should adjust their conduct on the road to reflect traffic conditions. Drivers need to slow down when the weather is bad and leave more distance between vehicles. Unfortunately, semi-truck drivers feeling the pressure to get a load in on time may choose to drive as though everything is normal during times of inclement weather. They may then be unable to stop or properly maneuver, leading to a fully preventable collision.

Someone trying to negotiate an insurance claim after a weather-related semi-truck collision could highlight the failure to adjust traffic habits as a sign of negligence and possibly even a regulatory infraction. They may need to question the settlement offered, as signing it absolves the company of liability. In more severe cases, it may be necessary to take the matter to civil court. Insurance companies and transportation businesses are often eager to minimize their exposure when a driver causes a crash through poor conduct in traffic, such as failing to properly drive in bad weather.

Understanding one’s rights may help people find the bravery to assertively negotiate and reject low settlement offers after a semi-truck collision.