Poor Weather Conditions Increase the Risk of a Kansas City Semi-Truck Accident
One of the reasons people choose Kansas City as their home is our weather. We enjoy distinctive seasons each year, including sunny summers and snowy winters.
Unfortunately, weather conditions significantly impact driving conditions. Fog, rain, sleet, and snow impact a driver's visibility. Poor weather conditions can have a negative effect on vehicle performance and road conditions. Motorists may lose control over their vehicles.
Approximately 21 percent (over 1.2 million) of vehicle crashes each year are weather-related. Over 5,000 people are killed and more than 418,000 people are injured in weather-related traffic accidents each year. Most weather-related accidents occur during periods of rain or when the pavement is wet.
Large trucks can be difficult to control in the best driving conditions. Poor weather conditions can increase the risk of a truck crash. Weather-related truck accidents in Kansas City cause catastrophic injuries and deaths.
If a weather-related semi-truck accident caused you or your family members to be injured, you could be entitled to compensation for damages. Our legal team at the Law Office of Kevin J. McManus fights to get you the money you deserve after a semi-truck accident.
Call 816-203-0143 to schedule a free consultation with our Kansas City truck accident attorney. Poor weather conditions are not a free pass to avoid liability for a truck accident.
Adverse Weather Conditions & Truck Accidents in Kansas City
Poor weather conditions increase the risk of a large truck accident. Examples of weather conditions that have a negative impact on the driver, road, or tractor-trailer include:
- High Winds – Because trailers are higher with a substantial space between the bottom of the trailer and the road, they are vulnerable to tip-over accidents during high winds. A strong gust of wind can push the trailer, causing the truck to jackknife or roll over.
- Rain – Even light rains can cause trucks to hydroplane. High rains reduce visibility and severely impact the stopping distance for the truck.
- Snow and Ice – Icy and snowy roads severely reduce traction between the road and the truck's tires. The weight of a large truck can make it impossible to stop the truck on icy roads. Once the truck begins sliding, it can be impossible for the truck driver to regain control of the truck.
- Fog – Fog severely impairs the truck driver's visibility. Because trucks cannot stop instantly, driving in fog can be extremely dangerous when visibility is just a few feet.
Even though poor weather conditions make driving a truck more challenging, it is ultimately the truck driver's responsibility to judge these conditions and make changes to avoid weather-related truck accidents.
Federal Regulations & Weather-Related Truck Accidents
Truck drivers owe a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely. Furthermore, federal trucking regulations make truck drivers responsible for the safe operation of trucks. The truck driver is responsible for deciding when to stop driving because of hazardous conditions.
According to FMCSR Section 392.14, truck drivers have a responsibility to:
- Reduce the truck's speed when weather conditions negatively affect visibility or road conditions
- Drive defensively and use sound judgment to decide when to pull off the road during poor weather conditions
- Ensure there is sufficient distance between the truck and other vehicles to allow for longer stopping distances because of weather conditions
- Use their lights to increase visibility during poor weather conditions and allow other drivers to be able to see the truck's location
Truck drivers who do not follow safe driving procedures during adverse weather conditions may be held financially liable for damages caused by a truck crash.
Causes of Weather-Related Truck Crashes in Missouri & Kansas
Other factors can play a role in the cause of a weather-related truck accident. For example, a truck driver's reckless driving behavior can contribute to a weather-related truck crash. Distracted driving, speeding, drowsy driving, and intoxicated driving can contribute to the cause of a truck crash during poor weather conditions.
Inadequate truck maintenance is another factor in some bad-weather truck accidents. Inexperience and a lack of training for truck drivers can also contribute to weather-related truck crashes.
While truck drivers cannot control the weather, they have a responsibility to take steps to reduce the risk of truck accidents during poor weather conditions.
Who Is Responsible for Damages in Weather-Related Truck Accidents in Kansas City?
Our truck accident law firm in Kansas City, Missouri thoroughly investigates the cause of a truck crash to determine the factors that contributed to the cause of the crash. Poor weather conditions do not excuse the truck driver or trucking company from liability for damages.
If the truck driver or trucking company were negligent, they could be held liable for damages including:
- The cost of medical treatment, nursing care, and personal care
- The loss of income, including current and future lost wages, benefits, and decreases in earning potential
- Disabilities, impairments, scarring, and disfigurement
- Loss of quality of life and enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering damages caused by physical injuries, mental anguish, and emotional distress
- Wrongful death benefits for surviving family members
Weather-related truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries, leading to death or permanent disabilities. Traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and internal organ injuries are common injuries caused by semi-truck accidents.
Insurance companies use poor weather conditions as a defense to liability for truck accident claims. Do not let a claims adjuster convince you that you are not entitled to compensation because the weather is to blame for a truck crash. Instead, get legal advice from a trusted Kansas City truck accident lawyer.
Contact Our Kansas City Truck Accident Attorney for a Free Consultation
A truck accident can turn your life upside down. You and your family may face lifelong impairments because of a negligent truck driver. We want to help.
Contact the Law Office of Kevin J. McManus for a free case evaluation from an experienced Kansas City personal injury attorney. Reach out to our law office online or call 816-203-0143 now to speak with a member of our legal team.