If you’ve driven on any U.S. interstate in bad weather, you may have seen trucks pulled over and huddled around an overpass, like wagon circles of the old west. These drivers are doing the right thing. That’s because there are two very good reasons why truckers shouldn’t drive in a storm.
Slip and Slide
Because trucks are larger and heavier, they need more time and distance to slow down. As a general rule, a truck takes 40% longer to slow down than smaller passenger vehicles. Combine that limitation with wet roads and strong winds nudging cars out of their lane and you have a recipe for disaster.
Wet roads also increase the risk of a “jackknife” crash. If a truck brakes too quickly or loses traction due to the wet roads, their trailer could swing like a door and swipe at cars in each lane. At the same time, a jackknife is almost impossible to pull out of, and a truck driver could find themselves spinning out and endangering everyone on the road because they were going too fast for the conditions.
Powerful winds are one of the greatest dangers to semi-trucks, especially on the open plains of the midwest. Seeing trucks knocked on their side can be surprisingly common in middle America, especially during storms and tornado season.
Wind is most effective when it has a lot of surface area to push against. Semi-trucks are long and boxy. When gale-force wind hits a trailer, the force is multiplied and the vehicle acts like a sail on a ship.
If the truck’s trailer is empty or if the cargo isn’t balanced properly, the force of the wind can lift a truck off the ground and knock it onto its side, potentially injuring the driver and anyone who may have been in the lane next to them.
If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries in a car crash, we can help. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with an experienced truck accident attorney from Dunk Law Firm, please don’t hesitate to call (800) 674-9339 or send us an email.