To help prevent truck accidents, we’re providing recommendations for commercial truck drivers unfamiliar with driving in Michigan weather conditions.
We see a lot of accidents caused by truck drivers coming from warmer states driving to Michigan that make mistakes on icy roads. Truck driving through a Michigan winter certainly calls for extra caution and attention to detail.
This starts before the driver gets behind the wheel. During the pre-trip inspection, truck drivers should make sure all engine fluids are at the proper levels, that there is enough anti-freeze in the radiator and that the air brake system is checked for moisture. Truck drivers must also ensure that the defrosting and heating equipment is working, and that the mirrors, lengths and reflectors are clean and operating properly. Additionally, the tires should have sufficient tread for traction and the tire chains must be the proper size.
To ensure the visibility necessary to avoid truck accidents, truckers should make frequent stops to clean off side windows and mirrors during inclement weather, when ice and snow can quickly build up. During this kind of weather, truckers should make speed adjustments, such as increasing stopping distance due to slippery roadways and inconspicuous ice on the highway. Caution is called for on bridges, underpasses, dips in the road, shaded areas and the lower sides of banked curves.
Changes in road conditions should always alert drivers. If there’s any doubt, make periodic brake applications to test the surface traction and avoid potential trucking accidents.
On the other hand, hot weather driving can also be dangerous. It’s less of a concern during most of the Michigan calendar year, but there are some summer months where we encounter sweltering heat.
Truck drivers should make sure they have proper air pressure to avoid tires overheating. As the temperature rises, so does air pressure, causing the tire to explode and possibly cause an accident. Tires should be inspected every two hours or 100 miles when driving in hot weather.
The engine oil, coolant belts and hoses also need to be inspected when the temperatures are soaring. A loose belt can lead to overheating, and a serious truck accident. Michigan truck drivers should also pay attention to bleeding tar, which can make the roadway slippery.
To speak with one of our experienced truck accident lawyers, call Michigan Auto Law at (800) 777-0028, or fill out our free contact form. There call and the advice are free.