When poor weather conditions cause a crash with a commercial truck, you are likely wondering who will need to assume responsibility for the incident. It is important to understand that, even with inclement weather, all motor vehicle accidents can still involve some form of liability. When a truck accident happens because of poor weather, a seasoned commercial vehicle collision attorney could conduct a thorough investigation and careful analysis to determine the at-fault driver. If the trucker’s negligent behavior contributed to the wreck, they will likely need to pay damages.
While inclement weather could be a factor in a crash, it does not change the liability of the driver. Weather also does not excuse the trucking company's responsibility to keep their vehicles running according to state and federal regulations. If you need immediate assistance, a skilled lawyer could help with bad weather truck accidents in Marietta.
What Defines Bad Weather for Truck Drivers?
Federal law requires that truck drivers use extreme caution if they need to navigate in inclement weather conditions. For instance, any situation that significantly impacts traction and visibility would be considered bad weather. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, DOT § 392.14, outlines that all commercial vehicle operators need to be extremely careful when they encounter these conditions or any other high-risk environmental feature.
Common examples of high-risk conditions include rain, snow, ice, fog, or smoke. If a truck driver decides to brave this kind of weather and causes a crash as a result of negligent behavior, anyone injured would likely have legal options for seeking compensation.
A detail-oriented attorney in Marietta could investigate the conditions at the time of a crash to determine whether a trucker violated their bad weather driving regulations and caused an accident.
The Extreme Caution Rule Explained
The state of Georgia adopted the federal extreme caution rule in 1972 and it has since become a federal regulation. This law establishes many specific actions that commercial vehicle drivers navigating on interstates need to take. Required safeguards change depending on the type of inclement weather.
Rainy Conditions and Wet Roads
If a commercial vehicle operator is driving on a slick highway or through heavy rain, they must slow from 55 to 35 miles per hour, reducing their speed by approximately one-third.
Snowy Conditions and Packed Snow
When driving through a blizzard or severe snowstorm, a trucker needs to reduce their speed by at least half.
Freezing Conditions and Icy Roads
If roads are icy, a truck operator must drive as slow as possible until they can find a safe place to stop. When they find an ideal location, they need to pull over and wait until conditions improve.
A knowledgeable lawyer in Marietta has experience with hazardous weather crashes; they could answer questions about how federal and state regulations govern truck operation in these situations.
Contact an Attorney about Bad Weather Truck Accidents in Marietta
When extreme weather conditions hit, unexpected and severe accidents are common. Collisions involving commercial trucks and inclement weather can be traumatizing for anyone involved. For instance, a crash might leave the driver of a standard car with costly medical expenses and painful injuries. Fortunately, even when the weather is partially responsible for a tractor trailer wreck, the negligent driver still usually needs to assume liability for any resulting harm.
If you sustained injuries and losses because of a commercial vehicle driver’s failure to respect dangerous environmental conditions, a resourceful lawyer could explain how to handle bad weather truck accidents in Marietta. Call the firm today to get started on your case.