February 11th, 2022
Truck accidents can happen at any time of the year, but Michigan winters are particularly hazardous. Winter weather conditions can result in dangerous conditions like poor visibility, snow- and ice-covered roads, and snow removal equipment, causing slowdowns or blocking travel.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration:
- Nearly 70% of the U.S. population lives in an area that experiences winter weather
- Twenty-four percent of weather-related crashes occur on snowy or icy pavement
- Fifteen percent of weather-related car crashes happen when it is snowing or sleeting
- Nearly 76,000 people are injured every year in winter-weather-related crashes
- Winter weather crashes cause nearly 900 fatalities every year
When you combine winter driving conditions with the daily hazards posed by semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial vehicles, there is a serious risk of a severe truck accident.
If you were injured or someone you love was killed in a Michigan trucking accident, the personal injury attorneys at Muth Law, P.C. are here to help. We will evaluate your case and fight for the compensation you and your family need and deserve.
Protect Yourself Against Winter Truck Accidents
By understanding the risks posed by hazardous winter driving conditions, you can avoid them.
Road conditions can become unsafe anytime the temperature drops below freezing. Cold temperatures can lead to sleet, snow, and icy rain, which can cause slippery and dangerous driving conditions. And when you add reduced visibility due to blowing snow, you have the potential for dangerous accidents.
A fully-loaded semi-truck, 18-wheeler, or other large vehicle can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Even when these vehicles travel at reduced speeds, their size means that it will take longer to slow down. Slick pavement and dangerous driving conditions make it even more difficult to control these large vehicles and mean it can take even longer for them to come to a stop, which can lead to a dangerous situation and a catastrophic collision.
Slush, Sleet, and Snow-Covered Roads
When it is actively snowing, visibility is impaired, and road conditions deteriorate. This makes it more difficult for drivers to control their vehicles. And when temperatures hover right around the freezing mark, the freeze-thaw cycle can make roads extra slippery. As the snow falls, it melts and turns to slush. Slush on the road makes a vehicle more difficult to control.
As the slush and snow melt and refreeze, a thin layer of frozen water known as black ice can form on the top of the road. The ice reduces the friction between the road surface and vehicle tires, making them lose their grip and increasing the likelihood that the driver will lose control.
Winter weather is often accompanied by strong or gusty winds that can push vehicles around on the roadway. The risk is even greater for large vehicles like semi-trucks and 18-wheelers. Their tall, narrow profile makes them easily pushed around by wind gusts.
Additional Factors that Can Cause Winter Truck Accidents
In addition to poor weather conditions, other factors increase the likelihood of a catastrophic truck accident during the winter.
Because of ongoing labor shortages, many trucking companies are hiring new drivers or bringing on temporary drivers to meet delivery schedules. Unfortunately, these drivers often lack the experience or training to drive safely in adverse weather conditions. This can have serious consequences when these inexperienced drivers encounter hazardous weather conditions that they may have never experienced before.
Truck drivers are under pressure to meet delivery schedules, and these demands don’t stop even when the weather turns cold. To meet these demands, truck drivers may overlook safety requirements or choose not to reduce their speed, even when conditions indicate that they should. These actions increase the likelihood that a catastrophic accident will occur.
An added consequence of demanding delivery schedules is that many drivers drive longer and farther than is safe and beyond what they are legally allowed to do. When coupled with dangerous road conditions, this can lead to extreme driver fatigue, which is a leading cause of vehicle accidents.
Muth Law, P.C.: Experienced Truck Accident Injury Attorneys
If you were injured or someone you love was killed in a trucking accident, the Michigan personal injury attorneys at Muth Law can help.
We have extensive experience representing truck accident injury victims and have successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
Trucking accident claims are significantly more complicated than an auto accident injury case, and there may be multiple parties that are responsible. When you hire Muth Law, our attorneys will analyze your case, identify the responsible parties, and fight to hold them accountable.