Icy Roads Heighten Risk of Trucking Fatalities & Pileups

Traffic on an icy road

We're all familiar with the dangers of driving on icy roads. But did you know how often icy roads cause fatal accidents? In fact, according to NOAA and DOT data, icy roads cause 3.6 times as many fatal crashes as all other weather hazards combined. That's why truckers have to be extra careful when driving on icy roads. They need to allow for more stopping distance and be extra careful turning corners. Unfortunately, even the most experienced truckers can't outmaneuver physics. If you or someone you love has been involved in a winter trucking accident, it's important to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Statistically, icy roads are among the worst hazards a trucker can face. The U.S Department of Transportation reports that an average of 136,000 people are injured yearly by driving on icy roads. As truckers are handling 40,000 to 80,000 pounds of freight and machinery under the same conditions, icy roads present even more of a risk. Icy conditions cause trucks to take about 10x longer than usual to come to a stop, making speed adjustments harder for the driver to make. Additionally, “black ice,” or transparent ice that forms on pavement, can often render even the most experienced trucker unable to maintain control over their vehicle suddenly without warning. Thanks to its clear visibility and lack of texture, traditional preventative measures or braking techniques do not often function while trying to avoid it. Trucking is already a high-stakes job, but the difficulty magnifies under icy conditions.

How Experienced Truckers Manage to Drive in Icy Conditions

Drivers of large trucks often know the extra danger icy roads represent, so they take precautionary steps to avoid dangerous accidents. Even with state-of-the-art features on their vehicles, skilled truckers are mindful when driving in such conditions. Before setting off, an important step is to make sure brakes, tires, and other components are working properly. While on the road, drivers should accelerate, steer, and brake as slowly as possible to reduce the risk of slipping on icy surfaces. They also use a CB radio to keep abreast of changing road condition reports by fellow travelers ahead of them. Additionally, they try to keep around a quarter-mile distance behind traffic so they have enough room to maneuver if something goes wrong. Also extremely important is keeping torque low in order to avoid spinning out of control even further on ice surfaces. Experienced truckers typically take these precautions (among others) to drive safely during icy weather and avoid accidents that can lead to serious injuries.

Unfortunate as it is, even the most cautious truckers may find themselves involved in accidents on icy roads. The cold air that flows around bridges and overpasses tends to cause them to freeze more quickly, forming an additional danger for truckers. Further, employers and deadlines can pressure truckers into driving in potentially unsafe conditions when they would rather wait out bad weather. Finally, congestion of traffic around rush hour can make it difficult or impossible to keep a safe distance from other vehicles, turning simple winter conditions into a dangerous hazard. That's why massive pileup accidents on icy roads are common (but tragic) incidents, like the one that happened here last year.

Speak with a Truck Accident Lawyer After a Trucking Pileup

Icy roads often lead to life-changing trucking accidents. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident on an icy road, contact a qualified and experienced trucking accident lawyer from Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC for counsel. Our accomplished personal injury law firm has been serving the Harrisburg area since 1922, and we've proudly won tens of millions for our clients over the years. When recovering from a major auto incident involving multiple vehicles, icy roads, or semi-trucks, it's important to have a proven legal team like HHR on your side; it could make all the difference.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a trucking accident on an icy road, contact our firm for a free consultation at (888) 498-3023. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

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