Two Missouri semi-truck accidents interfered with morning traffic on Interstate Highway 70. The Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) is investigating both crashes. A MSHP officer state that the morning’s snow may have factored into the crashes, but the snow’s precise role in the accident has not yet been determined.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the first accident occurred at 7:30am near T.R. Hughes Boulevard. During that accident, a refrigerator box truck carrying produce jumped over the median. No one was injured in that accident, but traffic was blocked.
A second Missouri dump truck accident occurred on near the Salt Lick Road overpass in O’Fallon, Missouri. A dump truck crashed into the rear of a passenger car, and then collided with three other vehicles. The dump truck eventually stopped in the far right lane of the I-70. Two passenger car occupants were injured by the dump truck.
Truck drivers have a duty to drive prudently in inclement weather conditions. Missouri statute §304.012 requires all motorists to “exercise the highest degree of care” while operating any motor vehicle on Missouri’s roadways. Exercising the highest degree of care includes a duty to drive carefully and prudently. Drivers must also operate “at a rate of speed so as not to endanger the property of another or the life or limb of any person.” Missouri law requires all motorists, truck drivers included, to avoid causing harm to others while driving.
To satisfy their duties under §304.012, truck drivers must adjust to any weather conditions that affect their ability to avoid an accident. Precipitation, including rain and snow, may adversely affect driving conditions and increase the risk of a vehicle collision. When truck drivers fail to adjust their driving choices to inclement weather conditions, they breach their duties imposed by Missouri law.
Traffic statutes play an important role in Missouri truck accident lawsuits. When used correctly, evidence of a statute violation help an accident victim prove in court that the defendant truck driver was negligent. Statute violations show negligence when: (1) the violation result in injury to a member of the class of person intended to be protected by the statute: and (2) the harm is of the kind which the statute aimed to prevent.
Missouri’s traffic laws aim to protect drivers, vehicle occupants, and pedestrians from physical injury and property damage. When accident victims can show that the defendant truck driver violated a traffic statute, the accident victim has generally shown negligence.