Driving during the winter can be a challenge for any driver, but it is especially risky for commercial truck drivers due to the stature and weight of their vehicles. Icy roads and low visibility means truck drivers must exercise extra caution in order to keep everyone on the road safe. Roughly 20% of trucking accidents happen in bad weather, so it’s important to know what other factors may come into play to prevent/avoid trucking accidents.
Speeding is always a dangerous thing to do, but it’s significantly more dangerous when a big-rig is involved. Tractor-trailers require much more time and space in order to come to a complete stop, and this can be impeded when the roads are slick or icy. Additionally, high winds are extremely dangerous due to the high profile of trucks, so traveling at high speeds only makes this even more dangerous. In Northern Colorado, it’s fairly common that there are restrictions set on semi-trucks during high winds along I-25.
During the winter, snow and ice can accumulate quickly on the massive windshields of tractor-trailers, and the roads may already have low-visibility if there’s snow or fog present. It’s imperative that truck drivers employ lights and wipers, as well as exercise extra caution when this inclement weather is going on.
When these conditions are present, it’s easy for a truck to lose traction and hydroplane or slide on ice. This can make it difficult to stop when necessary, and can easily cause multi-car accidents on the road. In Colorado, chain restrictions and travel restrictions may be issued to make it safer/impossible for truckers to be traveling on the roads during adverse conditions.
If you see a trucker driving unsafely in winter weather conditions, call it in. They’re not only endangering themselves, but everyone else on the roads as well.