It’s no secret that wintertime in Georgia can bring snowy and icy roads, making driving dangerous, particularly in north Georgia. Some drivers have learned the tricks of maneuvering around in winter weather by putting snow tires on their vehicle or even by putting cement bags in the trunk to weigh the car down to guard against sliding.
But what about those huge commercial trucks traveling the roadways?
If a semi-truck loses traction, the situation can end in a devastating truck accident. That’s why regulations have been enacted in each state regarding chaining of truck tires during winter weather.
What happens if trucks don’t chain up their tires?
Truck drivers are required to know the law in each state they travel through when it comes to safety regulations. Failure to follow rules related to chaining tires can result in hefty fines, but if a semi-truck causes an accident and injures someone because the driver failed to attach chains, your personal injury case may become a little easier to prove.
At any time they deem it necessary, the Georgia Department of Transportation has the authority to close or limit access to certain roadways if the weather poses a significant danger. When that happens, all drivers will be notified by road signage that they must pull over and install tire chains. When it comes to blocking a road or causing an accident as a result of violating that law, any driver can be fined up to $1,000.
How many snow chains are required for semi-trucks?
Under Georgia law, commercial trucks with four or more drive wheels are required to affix appropriate chains to at least four drive wheel tires. Truck chains can weigh 80 to 100 pounds each, so drivers sometimes consider it a hassle to stop to put them on. It’s a time-consuming chore, so some truckers may opt to take the risk that they can make it safely through an area with inclement weather and into a region where chains are unnecessary without affecting their schedule. The problem with that idea is that chains are not secured properly, they have the potential to fly off and hit other vehicles.
A steel link chain can cause damage and injury by:
- Crashing through a windshield, hitting you or a passenger in the head and causing a traumatic brain injury or wrongful death.
- Getting lodged under a car’s axle, causing it to stop and be hit by other vehicles, or sending the vehicle out of control and hitting other nearby cars or trucks.
- Startling a driver who swerves to avoid the chain and collides with other vehicles or runs off the road, suffering a spinal cord injury or other serious injuries.
How do you put chains on an 18-wheeler?
There are several steps for adding tire chains to a truck. Missing just one step can end in disaster.
- Inspect. Laying the chains flat on the ground to ensure they’re in safe working condition is the first thing that should be done. If the chains are damaged, they should not be placed onto a tire, and the driver should stay put until the weather clears or a new chain can be obtained.
- Drape. The chains should be spread across the tire, centered over the tread and worked into the tire grooves before being pulled tight.
- Clip. The chain clips should face outward to avoid wearing the sidewall, which can cause a blowout.
- Tighten. Tightening the cams is necessary to fasten the whole chain down by increasing the chain tension as they’re turned.
- Secure. For added safety, the chains do have the option of being tightened further with bungee straps that act like a web to keep the chains pulled over the tire.
A truck that doesn’t have enough chains on its tires, or if those chains are not properly installed, can cause a semi-truck to lose control. Details such as these can be important to winning your case. If you’ve been the victim of a truck accident, you need an experienced legal team that knows which evidence to look for to strengthen your claim.
To schedule your free case evaluation today with one of our Savannah or Atlanta truck accident attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP, call our Atlanta office at 404-998-8847, our Savannah office at 912-417-3774, or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact page to tell us your story.
One of the nation’s top trial attorneys, Jeff Harris is an award-winning litigator who handles high-profile, complex cases across a wide variety of practice areas. He excels at securing justice for clients who have been seriously injured or killed, holding responsible parties accountable for their actions as well as their negligence.
Read more about Jeffrey R. Harris here.