Big rig drivers often encounter varied weather conditions as they travel across the country. One thing is sure — commercial vehicle drivers need specific skill sets on snow-covered or icy roads in Michigan. Car vs. truck accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and the size difference often leaves occupants of passenger vehicles severely injured or worse. Safe truck operators are smart enough to make wise decisions and recognize unsafe conditions when it is better to stay off the roads.
Along with excellent skid control and maneuvering skills, truckers must also take the following precautions:
- Speed: The higher the speed, the less control truckers have, increasing the risks of accidents.
- Following distance: Snow and ice-covered roads and poor visibility need increased buffer zones to brake safely in emergencies.
- What is too close? Following close enough to use another vehicle’s taillights to know when to brake is too close.
- Avoid driving in a pack: Risks increase when truck operators drive in packs because they limit the proximity from other vehicles.
- Know when to stay off the highways: Do not drive in extreme weather.
- Reschedule: Rescheduling delivery appointments are always better options than risking lives.
Last but equally important is not getting stuck in melted snow and cause safety hazards for other vehicles. A bag of kitty litter will give truck tires traction when their heat changed snow into mush.
Motorists in Michigan will undoubtedly recognize the risks of sharing winter roads with big rigs and take additional care. However, victims of truck accidents might have grounds to file personal injury lawsuits. They will have to establish negligence on the truck operator’s part. In which case, the truck owner or employer can also be named a defendant when filing a civil court claim.