Are Truck Accidents More Likely in Winter or Summer?
Adverse weather conditions cause almost 20% of all truck accidents according to findings from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), meaning that seasonal weather changes are key factors in many 18-wheeler truck accidents. Contrary to popular belief, both summer and winter are comparably likely to cause truck accidents, but in distinctly different ways that might not be readily apparent at first.
Accident-Related Risks in Winter and Summer
While spring and fall can be unpredictable, summer and winter each pose unique risks to truckers no matter where they may be. Truckers commonly cross state boundaries and traverse huge regions, meaning that even if their home state doesn’t have snow in winter or hot summers, they could encounter those conditions on their delivery routes. Note that weather-related truck accidents aren’t entirely to blame for the risks of winter and summer, as they involve more dangers than simple temperature and precipitation.
To start with, let’s examine winter, which is what most people assume to be the most dangerous season for truck accidents due to the explicit dangers that often arise, such as:
- Snow, ice, and sleet, which are especially dangerous for trucks due to their size and lack of fine control. Slippery roads can double a vehicle’s stopping distance, which is more significant for trucks than for smaller cars since they already have a far larger stopping distance, to begin with. Furthermore, the free-swinging hitches of commercial trucks make spinouts especially dangerous, potentially causing jackknifes, underrides, and rollover truck crashes.
- Poor visibility conditions as a result of long nights, fog, and general precipitation. This further compounds with the inability of trucks to suddenly stop, giving truckers even less time to react if anything goes wrong while driving.
Summer, conversely, is often mistakenly treated as the safest season. However, this isn’t the case. Dangerous conditions in summer months are simply subtler than those found in winter, and can oftentimes literally hide in broad daylight:
- Increased traffic, heavier demand for truck deliveries, and frequent road work, which all contribute to higher rates of truck accidents.
- Distracted or drunk driving, which drivers may engage in based on an illusion of perceived safety or summertime festivity.
- Hot roads, which can heat and expand the air within trucks’ tires, contributing to tire blowouts and general wear and tear.
Talk to an Arizona Truck Accident Attorney
If external road and weather conditions contributed to your truck accident, Arizona’s pure comparative fault system will inevitably come into play, since drivers are liable if they fail to prepare for and respond to adverse conditions appropriately. Under comparative fault laws, you’ll have to thoroughly prove that the other party was liable for your truck accident, or else you could have your compensation reduced considerably.
A good attorney can conduct a thorough investigation on your behalf, gathering the needed evidence to build a strong case for your compensation. By calling us at (623) 877-3600, you can schedule your free consultation with one of ELG’s truck accident lawyers in Arizona to have all of your questions answered in a no-pressure environment, while we set about doing all of the legwork for you, giving you time to focus on recovery.