Are Truck Accidents More Common in Winter?
Published in truck accident on December 31, 2018.
Accidents can happen at any time of the year. However, winter is a particularly dangerous time for being on the road due to the weather conditions, which result in slippery, slick roads. Additionally, truck accidents also tend to be more common during that time of year, especially during the holidays. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that overall, there are more accidents resulting in fatalities during winter, particularly around the holiday season, than any other time of year.
Truck Accidents are More Common in the Winter
There are a number of reasons why truck accidents are more common in winter. They include the following:
- Poor Weather Conditions: Winter brings about difficult weather conditions, including snow, sleet and icy rain, which results in slippery roads and occasional fog. There may even be black ice on the road that can result in a potentially deadly accident. Even if a truck is traveling at a slower speed in such conditions, an accident can still easily occur due to the larger, heavier load it’s lugging. It may also take a truck longer to slow down and stop on slick roads, which can make for a disastrous situation.
- Truck Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers have a difficult job and are on the road for many hours each day. During the winter especially, truckers have more demanding schedules, as well as more incentives from their employers, which means they work even longer hours. As a result, they may feel fatigued while behind the wheel. This can make it more likely to end up in an accident with a truck.
- Tougher Schedules: During the winter, especially with the holiday season near, truckers have tougher schedules to make deliveries. Frequently, this sees them pushing themselves to the limit to increase the speed of their trucks and forgo certain safety measures so they can more quickly arrive at their destination. When a truck speeds and the driver is less mindful of safety precautions, there’s more likelihood of an accident occurring.
- Lack of Driver Training: During the winter, trucking companies may need additional staff with the holidays around the corner. As a result, some of the seasonal drivers may lack sufficient experience operating such a large truck. This can certainly contribute to the increase in road accidents involving trucks.
Staying Safe on the Road with Trucks During the Winter
Although there are many accidents that are unavoidable, you can rely on certain tips to help keep you safer when you’re sharing the road with trucks this winter. Be sure to do the following:
- Give Plenty of Room: It’s important to give plenty of room between your vehicle and a truck when you’re sharing the road and especially a lane with them. Keep in mind that truck drivers may not see a regular car if it’s trying to pass it if there isn’t enough space between the car and the truck. Always avoid tailgating a truck as well.
- Slow Down: You should never speed around a large truck. Speeding can only make for an unsafe situation and can increase your risk for getting into an accident with the truck. You should slow down when sharing the road with a truck, but during the winter, it’s even more important due to the weather conditions.
- Avoid Blind Spots: There are many blind spots on large trucks that can make it easier for an accident to occur. Never try to pass a truck or any other vehicle from the right. Directly in front of and behind a truck is also a key blind spot.
If you’ve been involved in a winter accident with a truck in the Macon area, contact Blake Smith at Nelson & Smith immediately. Blake Smith will discuss your options for starting a personal injury lawsuit.