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Commercial Trucking Safety Tips – Danger from High Winds
Commercial truck driver neglect caused by distraction, fatigue or poor judgment is the leading cause of commercial trucking accidents in the United States. If you been involved in an accident, our truck accident lawyers at Feagans Law Group will pursue your case.
However, the dangers posed by high winds can exacerbate the errors caused by already neglectful drivers. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) more than 1,000 commercial truck accidents each year directly result from dangerous crosswinds. In most of the accidents, commercial truck drivers failed to recognize the increased danger posed by the wind – and that poor decision making is what led to a catastrophic accident.
High winds can pose a danger for all drivers on our roadways, but high winds – especially dangerous crosswinds – create an increased danger for commercial trucks due to the increased size of the vehicle. Commercial trucks are longer, heavier, taller and wider than other vehicles on the road, such as passenger cars. The imposing size of commercial trucks makes them especially vulnerable to catching wind.
High winds can cause a commercial truck to rock, sway or lose control due to being unbalanced. Surprisingly, this is especially true when the truck’s load is empty or light!
The most common types of accidents caused by dangerous winds include:
- Jackknifing. Jackknifing is a commercial trucking accident where a tractor trailer creates a 90-degree angle from the semi-truck.
- Truck underride. Underride collisions occur when a truck driver attempts to regain control of a truck that has been thrown off by the wind, and quickly stop. In these collisions, cars traveling behind the trailer end up colliding with the rear of the trailer and becoming stuck underneath it.
- Rollovers. After losing control of a truck, the semi-truck and its trailer can slide and roll over on its side.
- Lost loads. If cargo is not properly secured in windy conditions, it could fly off the trailer and cause accidents.
Our truck accident lawyers have some tips to reduce the chance of accidents
When driving on roadways with commercial trucks during windy conditions, truck drivers and motorists should take action to reduce the chance of accidents. Some helpful guidance includes:
- Check weather conditions before setting off. Take caution during windy conditions, but especially when wind speeds approach 40 mph.
- Slow down. Slowing the speed of a vehicle, whether a commercial truck or passenger car, makes it easier for the driver to control the moving vehicle during windy conditions.
- Stop driving. When wind conditions make travel too dangerous, motorists should delay travel.
- The risk of lighter loads. Commercial trucks traveling with lighter loads are more dangerous in windy conditions due to the lack of balance between the truck and the trailer that is designed to carry as much as 80,000 pounds.
- Pay attention. During windy conditions, take notice of your surroundings. Do not drive close to commercial trucks, especially if you notice them swerving or rocking as a result of the wind. Do not try to pass the truck.
- Remember the truck’s blind spots. Knowing where a commercial truck driver’s blind spots are located is crucial when traveling in windy conditions. The most dangerous blind spots are immediately in front of and behind the truck, on the right side of the truck, and right behind the driver’s window.
The truck accident lawyers at Feagans Law Group P.C. are experienced and knowledgeable about the causes of commercial trucking accidents and the dangers posed by high wind and driver neglect. If you or your loved ones are injured in a commercial trucking accident, please consider allowing the truck accident lawyers at the Feagans Law Group to Guide Your Path to Justice.