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Bad Winters Increase the Risk of Truck Accidents

Bad Winters Increase the Risk of Truck AccidentsIf you live in Savannah or anywhere else in Georgia, you are probably used to mild winters. The southern state rarely gets snow, with most inclement weather during winter related to rain. Trucks can pose risks even in good weather, and stormy winter weather makes them extra dangerous.

Any semi-truck or big rig traveling through Savannah or Georgia during inclement weather is a hazard, especially if the vehicle is on an interstate highway and coming from a location with terrible winter weather. Depending on the circumstances, commercial vehicles in poor winter weather can cause serious truck accidents and injuries.

Common reasons for truck accidents in Georgia during winter

Truck accidents during bad winter weather happen for a variety of reasons, including:

Maintenance failures

Trucking companies that fail to take care of their fleets put their drivers and everyone else on the road at risk. Maintenance issues can include ignoring tire rotation guidelines, which causes front tires that do the brunt of the turning to wear unevenly. The more wear a tire experiences, the thinner its rubber becomes, and the risk of blowouts increases.

Other maintenance failures include not promptly replacing brakes or windshield wipers, which creates stopping and visibility challenges. In addition, transmissions and engines are at risk for failure if their fluids are not replaced every six months or so. As motor oil and transmission fluid thicken from road dust, dirt, metal shards, and other particles, the auto parts can seize and shut down. There is also the risk of overheating from excessive moving part friction.

Maintenance issues can additionally include forgetting to inflate truck tires properly. As the temperature lowers, the air pressure within the tires drops, resulting in underinflation. Under-inflated tires make more contact with the road, causing them to wear down relatively quickly and potentially blow out.

Inexperienced drivers

Any truck driver who operates a commercial vehicle must earn their commercial driver’s license (CDL), which includes passing vision exams, written exams, and other training modules. If the truck driver recently earned their CDL but did not have significant experience on the road, they might make errors while driving in bad winter weather that risks vehicular collisions.

Overconfidence is another driver issue that can result in accidents. For example, the driver might think they can handle any type of poor weather but is unfamiliar with black ice or thin ice layers on roads that are virtually impossible to see and can result in loss of truck control.

Snow on top of trucks

While Georgia rarely experiences severe snow, truck drivers from states with heavy snowfall might bring the white stuff with them. Snow that remains on top of tractor-trailer cabins, for example, can slide off as it melts in warmer Georgia weather and hits nearby vehicles, causing visibility issues that risk causing serious accidents. In addition, drivers who experience sudden snow on their windshields might panic and lose control of their cars, causing collisions with other vehicles. And since many big rigs drive through Savannah and other parts of Georgia regularly, the chance of truck drivers bringing snow with them increases.

Establishing liability in Georgia truck accidents

Determining liability in a truck accident naturally depends on the cause. For example, if the accident occurred because the trucking company failed to maintain the vehicle in question, they may be liable. Drivers may also be liable if their actions contributed to the crash. For example, a driver speeding in poor weather (snow, ice, and rain) may also be liable.

Poorly maintained roads that result in truck accidents are typically the local or state government’s fault. For example, say a truck slides on a state road that was not appropriately de-iced, resulting in a multi-vehicle accident. In this case, the Georgia Department of Transportation may be liable.

Damages in truck accident claims

Sustaining injuries from a truck accident in Savannah or throughout Georgia typically calls for filing a personal injury claim that lists the requested damages. Typical economic damages that cover expenses related to the accident include:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Disability
  • Trauma counseling

Non-economic damages that compensate for the emotional and psychological ramifications of the truck accident can include:

  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Suppose plaintiffs in a truck accident case do not survive their injuries. In that case, their family members can file wrongful death claims and collect damages such as funeral and burial costs, loss of companionship, and loss of income.

As you recover from a truck accident, contact an attorney or have a family member make the call. A personal injury lawyer will review your case and determine how to move forward in a way that suits you best. They navigate every aspect of the legal claim so you can focus on your recovery and work to secure damages that cover the financial losses you have endured.

If you need to speak with a personal injury attorney in Georgia, contact Harris Lowry Manton LLP. With offices in Atlanta and Savannah, our experienced attorneys provide a full suite of personal injury services, including representation for car, motorcycle, truck accidents, and auto defects. Call our office or submit a contact form to schedule a free initial consultation today.

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