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Can bad weather can spell disaster for big rigs

When you share the road with a tractor trailer, you may not give a second thought as to the dangers of driving alongside such a massive vehicle. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 3,660 people were killed in large truck accidents across the country in 2014. Not only are big rigs larger than most other vehicles on the road, the trucks’ high profile and long length make them a moving target for bad weather conditions. Truckers who operate tractor trailers must be specially trained on how to maneuver the trucks in inclement weather situations, such as high winds, rain, snow, fog and ice.

Trucks are at risk of sliding, skidding, tipping over and jack-knifing, depending on the type of weather conditions they face. How fast the truck driver is going can also put them at an increased risk of becoming involved in a truck accident. Trucks that are driving in areas of high winds could easily tip over, as the height of the trucks’ trailer can catch the wind. In addition, icy roads may cause a big rig to slide, tip over or jack-knife if the truck is going too fast.

Trucks of all sizes should slow down during times of bad weather. In some cases, truckers may want to pull over and get off of the road if the conditions are too bad and they are not able to see. Heavy fogs can reduce a trucker’s ability to see and can even cause roads to be slick. Trucks traveling at high rates of speed may not be able to brake in time to avoid a catastrophic accident with a car in low visibility conditions.

This information should be used for educational purposes only and should not be used as legal advice.

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