Use Caution When Driving Near Tractor Trailers This Winter

It should go without saying that drivers need to be extra cautious when traveling on ice or snow covered roadways, but every year around this time hundreds of accidents occur because someone was driving recklessly. Drivers should be aware of how the slick conditions affect their ability to brake and turn as well as the effect these conditions have on other vehicles like tractor trailers. We have already seen some terrible Missouri car and truck accidents this winter like a recent crash where a man rear-ended a tractor trailer and several wrecks where vehicles have slid off the roadway.

Tractor trailers, which are already had to stop because of their weight, can slide out of control and become an 80,000 pound wrecking ball in the hands of an inexperienced driver. Be aware of every truck on the road and don’t make any risky maneuvers such as following too closely for the driver’s mirrors to see you or racing to get ahead of a truck on an entrance ramp. These maneuvers already cause many Missouri tractor trailer injury accidents in good weather conditions and are only made worse with winter weather.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind when driving in the snow:

-Slow down. While you can still slide out of control at surprisingly slow speeds, going slower does give you more time to correct yourself should you find yourself skidding out of control.

-Be prepared before you get in the car and be prepared for anything when you are behind the wheel. Before you start driving, make sure your windows and mirrors are cleared so you can see while driving. In extreme conditions, you may also want to equip your car with snow tires or chains to help gain traction. Once you are on the road, be prepared for any vehicle to lose control and start sliding. Make sure you leave plenty of space between your car and other vehicles.

-Brake before turns. Slow your vehicle by braking before you have to make a turn, then accelerate through the turn. This gives you far more control and reduces your risk of spinning out than if you accelerate all the way up to the turn and then attempt to brake as you make the turn.

There are many other tip available online and I would recommend preparing yourself before you drive, especially if you are not used to winter driving. While winter conditions certainly play a role in crashes, they are not necessarily a legal defense should a crash occur. If you have been injured in a crash and would like to discuss your rights as an accident victim, please contact an experienced Missouri personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

January 8th, 2010 by Ryan E. Bradley

Ryan Bradley is a trial lawyer and owner of The Bradley Law Firm. He specializes in catastrophic personal injury ad wrongful death cases.

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