Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents in Winter

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No one wants to drive on ice and snow if they can help it. Unfortunately, you never know when winter weather will hit. It could be nice and sunny at noon in Arkansas, but snowing and below zero by the time you need to drive home. Weather in the winter can be tricky, especially if you get caught on I-40. You must watch out for other drivers, especially semi-truck drivers who might lose control in bad conditions.

During the winter months in Arkansas, it’s common for a variety of precipitation to fall from the sky. From snow to sleet to freezing rain, all causing road conditions to worsen, leaving drivers to fend for themselves. Consider yourself lucky if you only hit a guard rail or rear-end another driver. What if another car t-bones you, or even worse, a semi-truck or big rig plows right into you? Not only can you get injured, but you or your loved ones could end up as a statistic.

At Denton, Zachary, and Norwood PLLC Law Firm, we want to make sure you’re prepared if a semi-truck driver hits you this winter. In a recent article from Action News 5 out of Memphis, two 18-wheelers crashed due to snowy road conditions. You don’t want to be caught between those two semis. Our hope is that this doesn’t happen to you, but if it does, we’re here to help.

One way to help prevent accidents is to educate yourself about the common causes of semi-truck accidents in the winter. We all know it’s important to follow all laws and speed limits and go slow when roads are wet, snow-covered, or icy. But what about others, especially semi-truck drivers? We often don’t think about how winter conditions can cause semi-truck accidents.

Let’s look at some common causes of semi-truck accidents during the winter in an effort to better prepare you for when you’re on the road this winter. If you’re knowledgeable about what types of semi-truck accidents can occur during winter weather, it will help you in the long run.

Poor Road Conditions

The number one cause of winter semi-truck accidents is icy or snow-covered roads, which can significantly reduce traction and make it difficult for trucks to stop or maneuver safely. Black ice is the most dangerous type of ice on the road because it looks like water but is, in fact, ice. Nothing can stop on ice, especially a large semi-truck. If they hit a patch of black ice, there’s no telling the damage it can do to you, your vehicle, and your loved ones. 

Another issue related to poor road conditions is reduced visibility. If the driver can’t see due to freezing rain, fog, sleet or heavy snow, they can’t see you or the road. This leads to the driver hitting obstacles or other vehicles on the roadways.

Driver Errors

No matter how good a driver someone thinks they are, they can’t compete with Mother Nature. Drivers who have been driving for decades and brand-new drivers are all susceptible to accidents. However, experience and training play into causes of accidents, especially in winter weather. One cause of accidents is inadequate braking, when drivers either brake too quickly or too late, not being able to stop, thus resulting in crashes, often fatal ones. No matter how skilled you are, you can’t prevent jackknifing when driving on a slick interstate. The trailer swings out of control, forming a 90-degree angle with the cab. 

Other issues that can cause accidents during the winter include lack of proper training, driver fatigue, speeding, and following too closely. You never know if that semi-truck driver next to you just started their route or has been driving for hours and can’t stay awake. It’s one thing to be fatigued during a sunny day with clear roads, but if you’re tired and the weather outside is dangerous, that leads to a deadly combination.

Maintenance & Equipment Issues

There’s so much that’s out of our control. Even if semi-truck drivers follow all the rules and regulations, cold weather can still cause issues. Cold temperatures can affect the performance of a truck’s equipment, including brakes, tires, and other crucial components. Regular maintenance is essential to prevent equipment failure.

To reduce the risk of semi-truck accidents in winter, it’s essential for truck drivers to undergo proper training, stay informed about weather conditions, perform regular vehicle maintenance, and exercise caution when navigating challenging road conditions. While all of this cannot be controlled by you, the driver, it’s important to be aware of these common causes of semi-truck accidents, so hopefully, you can help prevent it from happening to you.

Winter accidents involving semi-trucks can be overwhelming, but Denton, Zachary, and Norwood PLLC Law Firm is here to assist you every step of the way! Consult our friendly team for a free case evaluation at our convenient Little Rock, Conway, or Cordova locations. Your satisfaction is our primary focus! Contact us today if you require expert representation. Look out for those semi-trucks on the road this winter, and make sure you’re familiar with the common causes of semi-truck accidents caused by winter weather.

Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents in the Winter:

  1. Poor Road Conditions
  2. Driver Errors
  3. Maintenance & Equipment Issues

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