Many people are under the impression that trucks handle snow better than cars. For example, the large wheels of big trucks make them less prone to getting stuck in a snow filled parking lot than sports cars with small wheels. Other than this one advantage, large semi-trucks handle far more poorly than cars in snow and ice, and have significantly greater stopping distances.
Here are five reasons why you should give tractor-trailer rigs lots of space in snowy or icy conditions:
Truck Drivers Can’t Always See You
The wheels of a tractor-trailer rig can kick up a lot of mist or powdery snow. When passing one in these conditions, you won’t be able to see much until you get ahead of the truck. More importantly, the truck driver can’t see you and may decide to move into the space you’re occupying.
Semi-Trucks Require Lots of Braking Distance
Never pull out into the road in front of a semi-truck. You won’t have the traction to accelerate like you would in the summer and you’ve left the truck driver with no options other than colliding into your car. If a semi-truck is following close behind you in slippery conditions, move out of the way because it won’t be able to quickly brake if the traffic ahead suddenly slows down.
Semi-Trucks Are Highly Prone to Jackknifing on Slippery Roads
If a semi-truck brakes or swerves too hard on a slippery road, it will jackknife. This is especially true when it’s going downhill. Speeding semi-trucks close behind, in front, or beside you may jackknife in response to a sudden traffic incident. Keep your distance.
Strong Crosswinds Can Be Deadly
Semi-trucks have big surface areas along their sides that can catch the wind like a sail. The poor traction of snow or ice covered roads means the truck may not be able to resist a strong crosswind and could veer out of its lane. This is another reason not to linger beside a truck.
Truck Drivers Are Under Pressure to Meet Their Deadlines
In addition to meeting deadlines, many are paid by the number of miles driven, not by the hour. This pressure may prevent them from exercising good judgment and getting off the road during bad weather conditions. Rather than slowing down to a crawl on icy roads as they should, they may elect to drive too fast for the conditions.
Injured in a truck accident with a reckless or negligent driver? Consult with an experienced lawyer to learn about your legal options. Contact us at the Law Offices of John Critzos, II.
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