Topic: Trucking Accidents
When rain, snow, or ice causes dangerous road conditions, trucks drivers are required to reduce their driving speed by as much as one third, and to refrain from driving altogether if the conditions become dangerous. One weather condition that is often overlooked is high winds, possibly because there is nothing visible that alerts drivers to use extreme caution. Severe winds can cause any vehicle to feel like it could be swept away, but large trucks are particularly vulnerable because of their size.
Unlike a car, SUV, or a smaller truck, a semi-truck is more prone to the dangers of severe winds because it has such a large surface area. This creates what is known as a “sail area,” which can catch the wind and generate a thrust, causing the truck to move around on the road. The same wind conditions can have a much more dangerous impact on a semi-truck than it would on a much smaller passenger vehicle.
Truck Drivers Must Know How to Safely Navigate High Winds
All truck drivers should know that the best way to handle high winds is to slow down. When there are severe winds, traveling at high speeds can make the situation even worse because the wind develops more pressure around the surface of the vehicle as speed increases. Depending on the severity of the winds, the truck driver should either slow down significantly or stop until the conditions improve.
Tips for Truck Drivers Facing High Winds
Familiarize yourself with the sail area. This will depend on the size of the truck.
Make sure all doors and exposed items are safely secured. Taking the time to check these things before hitting the road can help avoid problems later.
Conduct a pre-trip inspection. This is a FMCSR requirement. A thorough inspection includes checking cargo to ensure that it is evenly distributed.
Check the weather report prior to starting your trip. Avoid being surprised by inclement weather, including strong winds. Knowing what to expect weather-wise will help you plan your trip, including the extra time it may take due to necessary speed adjustments.
Pay attention to signs of high winds. If you see things like windsocks or debris being blown across the road, reduce your speed so that the wind has less of an impact on your truck.
Be aware that empty trailers are particularly dangerous. In heavy winds, a tractor-trailer that has no cargo is even more susceptible to severe wind conditions than a truck that is full. If you are driving an empty trailer during high winds, consider pulling over until the winds subside.
If you are not sure, slow down or stop. Whether it is wind, snow, ice, or any other potentially hazardous condition, your best bet is to slow down, or stop at a rest area until it is safer to drive.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Truck Accidents Victims Obtain Compensation
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help. Truck drivers should know to either slow down or pull over during heavy winds to reduce the risk of a wreck. If they did not take the appropriate precautions and you were injured as a result, we will pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve. We have a proven track record of reaching successful settlements for truck accident victims. For a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.