Why weather isn’t really the cause of most truck accidents
According to thousands of truck accident cases we’ve handled and state government statistics, there were no contributing weather conditions in more than 80 percent of the reported truck accidents occurring in Michigan.
That figure suggests weather plays some role in nearly 20 percent of the reported truck accidents in Michigan.
Weather’s role in Michigan truck accidents is not as significant as it seems.
Still, most of those accidents could have been prevented.
For example, truck accident lawyers, police and expert accident investigators state that where weather played a contributing role in a truck accident, the truck driver failed to comply with the law, such as reducing the speed by 2/3 of the posted speed limit on hazardous roads. Or they failed to comply with federal regulations on braking and hours of service.
The Michigan Basic Speed Law requires a driver to travel at a “careful and prudent” speed in all driving conditions, meaning driving at a speed that allows one to stop within the clear distance ahead. Depending on the conditions, the speed according to the Michigan Basic Speed Law may be lower than the posted limit.
Meanwhile, there are a number of Michigan weather conditions that truck drivers must pay special caution. Truckers must be carefully prepared and more alert when shifting gears through fog, rain, snow, sleet, hail and even very hot temperatures. Driving in changing weather conditions is further complicated on hilly terrain, at night, across railroad intersections and on hazards like construction zones, pavement drop-offs, objects laying in the roadway and merging ramps.