Articles Posted in Weather Related Truck Accidents

Chances are, most people who have driven in wet road conditions have experienced driving a vehicle that has hydroplaned. Hydroplaning occurs when the vehicle’s tires travel on a thin layer of water rather than on the road’s surface, as would normally be the case in dry conditions. Perhaps the most frightening thing about hydroplaning is that it can occur when there is the slightest amount of moisture on the road, even when a road doesn’t seem to be slippery.

Legal News GavelHydroplaning is extremely dangerous, and is a major cause of New Mexico truck accidents. This is because as a vehicle’s tires lose contact with the road’s surface, the driver is unable to steer the vehicle, and any attempt to quickly slow down can result in the driver losing control of the vehicle.

Experts have studied the science behind hydroplaning vehicles, and have recommended that motorists take the following precautions anytime there is moisture on the road’s surface:

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While many think of New Mexico strictly as a desert state, in reality, much of the state sees quite a bit of snow during the winter months. Snow, perhaps more than rain or wind, greatly affects a driver’s ability not just to see the road ahead of them, but also to safely and effectively control their vehicle.

Legal News GavelWhile adverse weather conditions affect all drivers, they present an especially difficult situation for those who operate large commercial vehicles, such as semi-trucks and buses. Indeed, a significant number of New Mexico truck accidents are caused by adverse weather conditions and the driver’s failure to adjust their driving behaviors to the conditions of the road.

Notwithstanding the difficulties adverse weather conditions present to New Mexico truck drivers, the responsibility remains theirs to ensure that they are safely operating their vehicles. This means slowing down when the road conditions call for it. It may even mean pulling off to the side of the road and waiting for conditions to improve. When an accident is caused due to a driver’s failure to make reasonable adjustments, the driver may be liable for any resulting injuries.

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Although many people imagine New Mexico as a desert state without much variation in weather, New Mexicans know that the state is actually prone to a significant amount of drastic fluctuations in weather conditions. These fluctuations can lead to dangerous consequences for motorists, especially truck drivers. Often, when truck drivers are involved in an accident during severe weather conditions, they will try to attribute the accident solely to the weather. However, research into these accidents has indicated that despite bad weather, many accidents can be avoided, and in many cases, truck driver negligence is the actual cause.
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There are regulations in place that guide truck drivers and their employers regarding the length of time a driver is allowed to drive without a break. However, there are many financial incentives in the trucking industry for quick delivery and turnarounds. This often leads to exhausted and distracted drivers. This, in combination with a severe or drastic change in the weather, can lead to potentially deadly situations.

When individuals are injured due to the negligence of a truck driver, it can be extremely difficult to determine the cause of the accident and attribute liability. Truck drivers will sometimes be protected by their employer’s legal counsel, so it is important that victims in this situation are just as protected.

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A frightening accident earlier this month has left a truck driver injured and several livestock dead in Minnesota. According to a local news report, the crash appears to have been caused by the driver losing traction and slipping on icy roads, ultimately rolling the truck over into a ditch. The driver of the truck, a 37-year-old North Dakota man, was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. This accident points out the increased danger that is presented to everyday drivers by fully loaded semi-trucks in the wintertime.

Legal News GavelSemi-Truck Loses Traction While Delivering Hogs to Local Farm

The accident has been blamed on icy road conditions, which seem to have caused several more accidents in the area. Indeed, winter conditions have been affecting New Mexico drivers as well this season. Although the icy roads can be blamed partially for the increase in accidents, it is common knowledge in the trucking industry that the risk of losing traction or having another type of accident increases in the winter. Trucking companies and their drivers need to have the right training to act appropriately when driving in winter conditions. If a company fails to train drivers for the conditions they could foreseeably expect to encounter on the job, the company and driver could be liable following a crash.

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Late last month, a massive accident occurred near Richland County, North Dakota after foggy conditions led to dangerous road conditions. According to a local news report, the accident involved four large semi-trucks and two school buses that were transporting school children on a field trip.

cold-foggy-morning-2-1538058.jpgUnfortunately, four students were injured and one of the bus drivers was possibly seriously injured. The bus driver had to be disentangled from the school bus by emergency personnel and subsequently taken to a local hospital. The uninjured students were picked up by another school bus and taken back to the school, where they were picked up by their parents. Emergency personnel, including police officers, highway patrol, fire trucks, ambulances, and multiple tow trucks were all involved in the cleanup of the highway. It took several hours before the debris and wreckage were cleared from the road. Currently, the Highway Patrol is investigating the accident to determine exactly how such a large accident occurred.
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