Winter weather wreaked havoc on local roads throughout the first month of 2020, creating dangerous conditions for drivers. Spring may be right around the corner, but freezing rain, dense fog, and even a few snow flurries remain on the forecast. All of these increase accident risks, particularly for truck drivers. Semi-trucks, 18 wheelers, and other big rigs are difficult to handle under even ideal conditions. Drivers need to remain cautious to prevent truck accidents in Portland and the serious impacts they have on others on the roads.
Weather a Frequent Factor in Portland Truck Accidents
Oregon Live news reports claim that winter weather is to blame for close to a dozen motor vehicle crashes over the course of January, including a major logging truck accident on Old Cornelius Pass Road. Unfortunately, hazardous conditions continue to be forecast throughout late February and early March, increasing accident risks.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) warns that adverse weather is responsible for more than 20 percent of all motor vehicle accidents that happen each year. Of these, more than half are due to rain, fog, and freezing road conditions. Semi-truck, tractor-trailer, and other big drivers are among those most in danger, particularly in areas where there are bridges, overpasses, and highway exit/entrance ramps. Weather-related factors that make truck accidents more likely to happen include:
- Poor visibility;
- Poor traction on the roads;
- Decreased maneuverability when making turns;
- Increased risk of sudden traffic stops and road tie-ups;
- Increased likelihood of truck malfunctions and maintenance issues.
Steps That Can Reduce Truck Accident Risks
Due to the massive size and weight of most big rigs, truck accidents often impact other drivers on the road, resulting in potentially life-threatening injuries. To reduce the risks during dangerous weather conditions, Smart Trucking advises truck drivers to follow these tips:
- Be aware of weather forecasts for areas you are driving;
- Fuel up and perform a maintenance check before you head out on the road;
- Make sure all windows and mirrors are clean and clear;
- Keep chains onboard, just in case they are needed;
- Avoid carrying light loads, particularly if heavy winds are forecasted;
- Make sure cargo is evenly distributed throughout your trailer;
- Keep plenty of space between you and other motorists;
- Be prepared for sudden stops;
- Be alert for black ice and brake well in advance;
- Pullover to the side of the road in dense fog or when roads are too icy and wait for conditions to improve.
Other motorists can benefit from some of these tips as well. To protect yourself against being caught up in the damage caused by truck accidents, be aware of the dangers and allow truckers plenty of room on the road.
Let Us Help You Today
The Johnston Law Firm P.C. provides trusted guidance and aggressive legal representation for victims in truck accidents. Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland truck accident attorneys online today and request a consultation to discuss how we can help you.