Winter is upon us, and it brings with it snow, ice, and frigid temperatures. These conditions are enough to make any driver wary of hitting the road, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that they also pose a challenge for truck drivers. In parts of the country that experience all four seasons, truck accidents tend to spike in the winter months. It’s important to know why this happens and how you can protect yourself.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a truck accident, don’t wait any longer to seek legal counsel. We’re here to help you fight for the compensation you’re owed. Call Kingbird Legal at 484-289-4880 to set up a consultation with our team of West Chester personal injury attorneys.
Unsafe Weather Conditions
Unsafe weather conditions make it far harder for truck drivers to do their jobs safely. Snow, ice, and low temperatures are hard on personal drivers. For drivers operating vehicles that are dozens of times heavier than a personal vehicle, these challenges are multiplied. It’s common to experience reduced visibility during snow and ice storms, which makes it much harder for truck drivers to avoid obstacles and stay in the proper lane. Unfortunately, truck drivers don’t have the same options that many personal drivers do—even if the weather is bad, they can’t just wait it out at home. Deliveries have to be made, even if that means driving in less-than-ideal conditions.
This is one of the most dangerous parts of driving a truck during the winter months. The traction on the road is significantly decreased, thanks to the buildup of ice and snow. Tractor-trailers already take a very long time to come to a complete stop, due to their length and weight. When you add in a decrease in traction, a truck’s stopping distance is even longer. Rear-end collisions are very likely in these conditions, and when a truck is involved, a rear-end collision at any speed can cause severe or fatal injuries.
The increased visibility makes daylight driving much easier than nighttime driving. Unfortunately, days are incredibly short during winter, often leaving truck drivers in the dark for several hours longer at the end of each work day. This leaves them with limited visibility, putting them at risk of hitting wildlife or other obstacles. Winter weather is already very difficult to drive in. Navigating winter weather in the dark is a new level of challenge.
When drivers are forced to concentrate intensely on the road, as they are when winter hits the region hard, it is mentally draining. This type of focus drains your energy, often leaving you feeling fatigued. Truck drivers are already at greater risk of fatigue than other drivers, and trying to navigate dangerous Pennsylvania roads in a winter storm for eight hours is guaranteed to leave them exhausted. Drivers under this type of mental strain on a daily basis are at a heightened risk of making avoidable errors.
Increased Pressure on Drivers
Poor weather and limited visibility just happen to coincide with the busiest time of year for the transportation industry. As many industries get ready for Christmas and the start of a new year, deliveries across the country ramp up. Truck drivers, already obligated to work insanely long hours and spend weeks away from home, pull even longer days and go even longer without seeing their families.
They are often under significant pressure from their employers to finish hauls in record time, regardless of weather and traffic conditions. With holiday bonuses and jobs on the line, truck drivers may take unnecessary risks at this time of year. They may stay on the road an extra hour or two even when they really should call it a day. These types of risks lead to preventable accidents.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Contact Kingbird Legal Now
Winter truck accidents leave physical and financial devastation in their wake. If you’ve suffered injuries in a crash, it’s time to talk to Kingbird Legal. Find out how we can help by scheduling a consultation. Call us at 484-289-4880 or contact our firm online to set up a meeting time right away.