Large commercial trucks play an integral role in keeping the economy of Pennsylvania and the rest of the United States operating smoothly. However, when the temperatures dip below freezing, the roadways can become dangerous for every party involved. Unfortunately, large commercial trucks have a harder time navigating icy roadways than smaller vehicles. In fact, commercial truck drivers must take extra precautions when they know or suspect the roadways are dangerous. Here, we want to talk about liability for truck crashes that occur when the roadways are icy.
Are Icy Road Truck Accidents Preventable?
According to data available from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there were many accidents across the Commonwealth during the latest year caused by snow, slush, or ice on the roadway. While these incidents can lead to accidents involving any type of vehicle, icy conditions will certainly affect a large commercial truck more than traditional cars. These vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, and they are much larger in both length and width than other vehicles on the roadway. Most people do not realize that commercial trucks need much more time to come to a complete stop than regular cars on the roadway. This can be a significant problem when there is snow, sleet, or ice on the road.
Common Causes of Icy Road Truck Crashes
There are various ways that accidents can occur involving commercial trucks when the roadways are icy. Some of the most common causes of these incidents include the following:
- An unprepared truck. Throughout the winter months, drivers need to continually check truck tires, exhaust systems, engine parts, and electrical parts to make sure they are holding up. Failure to regularly inspect and maintain these vehicles could be a form of negligence.
- Summer driving behavior. Drivers must leave extra distance between their truck and other vehicles on the roadway. Anytime there are dangerous roadway conditions, including ice, drivers need to leave extra space between vehicles.
- Lack of driver training. Driving in the winter is not easy for anybody, particularly commercial truck drivers. Truck companies should ensure that all drivers are prepared for operating in these conditions. This includes training beyond what drivers receive to obtain their commercial driver’s licenses.
- Distracted drivers. Distracted driving is dangerous, particularly for truck drivers. Some of the most common types of distractions include texting or browsing the Internet on the phone, talking on the phone, watching videos on electronic devices, and more.
- Delivery deadlines. Drivers are often pressured to continue operating their vehicles in dangerous conditions to ensure that they meet the deadlines put in place by various parties. This can include truck company deadlines, deadlines put in place by those expecting a delivery, etc.
Icy Road Truck Crashes Must be Investigated
Determining fault in the aftermath of a crash involving a large commercial truck and other vehicles is going to require an extensive investigation. We recommend that any truck crash victim seek assistance from a skilled Philadelphia truck accident attorney who can handle every aspect of these cases. An attorney will uncover various types of evidence that can be used to prove what happened, including the electronic control module (ECM), the electronic logging device (ELD), mobile device data, data from any cameras on the truck, and more. An attorney will work diligently to ensure that they recover the compensation that the accident victim needs.