Bad Weather Driving Rules
You need to know this bad weather driving rule if you have been injured in a truck wreck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require commercial truck drivers and their employers to operate their vehicles safely. The regulations are rules of the road for the trucking industry. 49 CFR §392.14 of the federal regulations requires a driver operating under bad weather conditions to exercise extreme caution. Bad weather includes: rain, high winds, fog, hail, snow and fog. These weather conditions can be unsafe. These conditions require a professional truck driver to take action to insure they can safely control their vehicle.
The rule states:
“Extreme caution… shall be exercised when hazardous conditions, such as those caused by snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust, or smoke, adversely affect visibility or traction.”The rule also states, “Speed shall be reduced when such conditions exist.”
When the weather turns dangerous the rule requires that, “the operation of the commercial motor vehicle shall be discontinued.” Driving should not resume until the truck “can be safely operated.”
Extreme Caution Means Slowing Down or Stopping
State commercial driver manuals are based upon a model manual. The model is published by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. States governments use the model for their CDL manual. State CDL manuals provide information to drivers about what is expected of them when the weather turns bad. The manual instructs commercial truck drivers on wet roads to reduce speed by about one third of normal. On snow drivers should be reduce speed to about one half of normal. On ice truck drivers should reduce their speed to a crawl. The driver should stop driving as soon as they can safely do so. Fog can create conditions in which visibility is poor. High wind can make driving a truck too dangerous. Drivers must reduce speed for safety in fog and wind. Sometimes the trip must be stopped until conditions improve.
Unfortunately, truck drivers don’t always follow the safety rules.
Truck drivers are often under pressure from their company to make the trip. Pressure to deliver loads on time. Pressure to get to the destination. This can lead to drivers continuing to drive when it is unsafe. It can lead to driving at speeds that are unsafe for the weather conditions. A tucking company often blames the weather to avoid responsibility if people are harmed.
Bad Weather Driving Rules Protect Life
The hazardous weather rules exists because commercial motor vehicles can cause devastation. Passenger vehicles and the people in them are much more likley to suffer harm that the truck driver. Loaded trucks weight can weigh as much ast 80,000 pounds. When they crash into passenger vehicles they leave a wake of death, injury and destruction. Driving and conducting trucking operations in bad weather conditions is putting profit before the safety of people on the roads.
Bad weather crashes are more likley to ocurr when a driver is fatigued, or a vehicle has not been properly maintained.
Extreme weather can also compound poor safety decisions. Decisions that were made before the bad weather occurred. In many truck wrecks unsafe choices combine to produce tragic consequences. Victims of truck crashes need a truck accident lawyer who has experience handling bad weather truck crashes. An injury lawyer who is familiar with the trucking business and federal regulations. A lawyer who will do a complete investigation. A carefull investigation of the facts and law can make all the difference in your case.
Let Gump & Faiella Help You
After suffering the injuries of your accident, the last thing you want is to do is mishandle your case. Trucking companies have attorneys and experts on their side. You need expert help on your side. When you work with Gump & Faiella you have over 90 years of combined experience in your corner. Get help now!