As the temperatures drop, many of us find reasons to stay home where it is warm and cozy. For others, driving in the winter means sharing the road in slick and often dangerous conditions. While driving is treacherous during the winter months, sharing icy roads and windy conditions with semi trucks adds a whole other level of danger. Here is what you should know about big trucks this season and what can potentially cause a truck accident.
1. Semi trucks need their space.
Driving behind a semi truck in ideal weather conditions obstructs your view. Add snow and wind and your vision may only be further impaired by the semi in front of you. Give them plenty of space when you are following them and plenty of space to react when you pass them to allow for reaction time should you (or they) hit an icy patch.
2. Snowy hills are particularly dangerous.
Snow covered hills provide a unique challenge to drivers, even in cars with four-wheel drive. Multiply the weight of the vehicle by 10 and add a trailer and you can begin to imagine what semi drivers deal with in hilly areas. You never want to follow a semi too closely up a snowy hill, and you never want to be directly in front of a semi going down a snowy hill. Ideally, switch your lane of travel and go around the semi, taking special care not to return to their lane until you are well in front of them. This way, if the driver loses control, you have time to react without endangering yourself or your family.
3. Beware the Nor’easter.
As if icy roads and snowy conditions weren’t enough to worry about, wind can also play a major role in a semi’s safety. High wind speeds and unexpected gusts topple their fair share of semis leaving long lines of traffic and injuries in their wake. While experienced semi drivers tend to avoid traveling during gusty storms, others with time-sensitive cargo and a little too much ego brave it anyway, making them especially hazardous on the roads. If you must drive in gusty conditions, give semi trucks plenty of space and allow for extra time to get to your destination.
4. Semi’s don’t stop running.
During the worst winter storms, most people simply choose to stay home. Semi drivers are charged with delivering their cargo to a certain location at a certain time. This means a sharp increase in semi traffic during and immediately after blizzard conditions. The fact that there are more semi trucks on the road naturally leads to a higher incidence of semi truck collisions and accidents. Since most of these involve smaller vehicles, the consequences can be dire for everyone involved.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a semi truck accident, you need a lawyer you can trust that will help you receive compensation for your medical expenses and time away from work. If you have been involved in a truck accident, contact the DC, Maryland, and Virginia truck accident lawyers at The Elan Law Firm today for a free consultation to discuss your case.