Legal Representation For Victims Of Winter Weather Collisions
When the roads are icy, wet, or slick due to inclement weather, a commercial truck driver’s skill and experience and the condition of a big rig’s equipment are more important than ever. A poorly maintained vehicle or negligent driving behavior can lead to serious truck accidents. Sadly, the occupants of passenger vehicles are who are most likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries in a truck accident.
At Pendergast Law we represent victims of large truck accidents and their families. We have the experience and resources to protect the rights of our clients going up against large trucking companies and their insurers. A collision with an 80,000 lb. tractor-trailer often leads to catastrophic injuries or fatalities. If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, contact us at 888-539-9211 for a free case consultation – with no obligation.
How Weather-Related Truck Accidents Occur
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a large truck needs 20% to 40% more stopping distance to stop than passenger vehicles, under normal conditions. However, this disparity in stopping distance is even greater when roads are wet and slippery, or when truck brakes are poorly maintained. Lack of truck braking capability is a contributing factor in many truck crashes.
Truckers have a responsibility to drive with particular diligence during dangerous weather conditions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require extreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle under hazardous conditions caused by ice, sleet, snow, fog, rain, mist, dust, or smoke that could adversely affect traction or visibility. The truck driver must reduce speed and, if conditions are sufficiently dangerous, discontinue operating the vehicle altogether until it can be operated safely.
A safe and experienced commercial driver will avoid any driving behavior that increases the risk of a crash in hazardous weather conditions, including:
- Following too closely
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Improper lane changes
Unfortunately, commercial truck drivers are often under pressure to deliver loads within a strict schedule, regardless of the weather. They may continue driving when they should not, or drive too fast for conditions in an effort to arrive at a destination on time. When truckers violate federal regulations, placing profit over safety, innocent people can suffer serious, catastrophic, or fatal injuries.
Poorly maintained equipment can also increase the risk of a truck accident in bad weather. Faulty brakes, worn tires, broken head or tail lights, and worn or faulty wipers can reduce visibility and control of the vehicle in rain or snowstorms and other adverse weather conditions, greatly increasing the possibility of a crash.
Holding Unsafe Drivers Accountable For Weather-Related Truck Accidents
Under federal regulations, trucking companies must properly maintain their vehicles and truck drivers must exercise particular caution while driving in bad weather. When they fail to do so and other drivers and their passengers are injured as a result, negligent trucking companies and drivers must be held accountable.
At Pendergast Law, we are committed to protecting your rights and fighting aggressively for fair and full compensation after a tragic truck accident. Our Seattle truck accident lawyers have been awarded membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and are rated 10.0 “Superb” Rating on Avvo. You can be assured of skilled and dedicated representation in your truck accident claim.