Freight has to be delivered on a year round basis. This means that truck drivers must drive in all types of weather conditions including sunshine and inclement weather. That includes driving through rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog, ice, thunderstorms, tornados high winds etc. While their are common causes of truck accidents, many are caused by bad weather conditions. Heavy trucks of all sizes are difficult to maneuver and stop when faced with bad weather. This results in the occurrence of numerous serious and even fatal accidents.
Truck drivers must make preparations to be able to drive in all weather conditions. This is a must if you are an over the road driver and know you may be dispatched anywhere. If you are driving across the country you should be prepared for various weather conditions as it changes as you drive across the country. Therefore, you should pack accordingly.This means you should have proper tools and equipment on hand.
You should always have clothing that will be appropriate for whatever weather conditions you encounter. Certainly keep water and some food on hand. Also, consider having extra gloves, rain gear, a blanket, boots and loose layers of clothing. This includes having basic safety equipment in your truck. This includes having a first aid kit and a good safety vehicle kit which would include a flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, tire chains and other items you anticipate that you’ll need.
Semi trucks and trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. As a result any accident involving a semi truck can result in catastrophic results. They pose serious risks to the general public. As a result commercial truck drivers must be extra cautious at all times and especially when driving in hazardous conditions.
The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has analyzed data of accidents involving large trucks. While acknowledging that these accidents are serious, their data suggest that the driver of the passenger vehicle may have contributed more to the crash than the driver of the large truck. Nevertheless, in the event that you are in a crash and it is suspected that your actions caused the crash, you can be sure that the attorneys of injured victims will work to prove that your actions caused the crash and seek damages for the victims. Wrecked vehicles will be towed away from the scene by heavy duty tow trucks which respond to remove trucks that are too damaged to drive.
Prior to each trip drivers should do a pre-inspection of the truck and trailer. In fact they are required to do so. This is an important step which allows you to check all important items including tires, lights, wiper blades, fluid etc.
You should have patience and drive according to weather conditions. If you encounter inclement weather conditions you should slow down. This is because many accidents occur because drivers are going too fast for road conditions. Maintain a safe following distance by leaving plenty of room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of or beside your truck. If you reduce your speed you would have more time to react in an emergency situation. Also, allow extra space on the road between your truck and other vehicles on the road.
In the event that you are stranded during a storm or blizzard it is best to pull off the roadway and stay in your truck. Find a place where you can wait safely until the condition improves. This is usually safer than attempting to leave your vehicle. You can resume driving when the driving situation improves. Although, you might be late delivering your load you would at least be safe.