Truck accidents are an issue at every time of year, but they seem to peak in winter months. This is true even in warm areas like Montgomery, where we rarely see snow or ice. There are multiple reasons this is the case, and understanding these reasons can help us make the roads safer. It’s up to trucking companies to have reasonable expectations and up to personal drivers to take reasonable precautions when driving around tractor-trailers. Learn more about why truck accidents spike in winter.
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident in Montgomery, the team at McPhillips Shinbaum is your next call. Let us help you fight for compensation and get what you deserve—call us at 334-262-1911 now.
The Challenges of Cross-County Driving During Winter
Taking cross-country hauls is a challenge year-round, but it puts even more stress on truck drivers during winter. Weather fluctuates a lot from region to region, and a truck driver must be ready to adjust to these changes multiple times in a single day. This is a lot of mental strain. For example, they may leave the warmth of Alabama and drive north for a delivery. Once they reach the central part of the country, they hit an ice storm with flurries. Suddenly, the speed they’ve been driving all day is too fast. They’re at risk of hitting other vehicles or losing control of their truck. Winter storms can go from mild to severe in the blink of an eye, and an already fatigued truck driver may struggle to adjust.
Most parts of the country see increased traffic throughout the winter months. This is due to the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the extra tasks and demands that come along with this time of year. Unfortunately, too many personal drivers don’t realize the demands of driving a tractor-trailer. They cut in front of tractor-trailers, hang out in their blind spot to the left or right, or fail to use their turn signal. The heavier the traffic is, the more stressful it is for a truck driver to keep themselves and others safe; they have to account both for their own potential errors and the errors that other drivers may make. When they don’t, other drivers are at risk of catastrophic injuries.
Constantly Changing Weather Forecasts
Winter weather is known for being inconsistent—even Montgomery sees its share of random ice flurries. For most people, that’s rarely an issue—they’re in the car to drive to and from work, or perhaps a family outing. In these situations, changing weather forecasts are an inconvenience and annoyance. To truck drivers, ever-evolving weather forecasts are a huge mental strain. Winter weather demands that truck drivers consistently check the forecast, adjust their driving accordingly, and somehow still accommodate their delivery schedule.
Extra Wear and Tear on Trucks
Winter weather and road conditions put extra strain on trucks. Frequent braking, extra pressure on tires, and an overworked engine trying to function in the cold can all cause issues. When a truck component fails, it may cause an accident. It can be impossible to predict these issues before they actually arise, leaving truck drivers in an unsafe position when they realize something is wrong with their vehicle.
Pressure From Employers
This factor is one that’s present year-round, but it is definitely worse during the holidays. Truck drivers are under constant pressure from their employers to get hauls done more quickly, get home fast enough to get another load, and avoid skipping days because of weather. Retailers and manufacturers are under intense deadlines, and they rely on truck drivers to help them meet those deadlines. Failing to deliver a load on time may result in a loss of pay, a lost bonus, or even termination. This puts truck drivers in the impossible position of either risking their livelihood or driving when they know it is unsafe to do so. When they choose the latter, accidents are likely to follow.
Reach Out to McPhillips Shinbaum to Start Your Truck Accident Case
Have you been injured in a Montgomery truck accident? If so, it’s time to find out if you are owed compensation. Let’s sit down and talk about your next steps. Reach out online or call us at 334-262-1911.