Even the most daring drivers are discouraged from stepping out into the open roads and highways during the threat of severe winter storms. However, there is a whole league of semi-truck drivers that risk the elements to make critical business deliveries and transport essential supplies ahead of such storms.
Severe winter storms pose significant risks to highway travel, and while most semi-truck drivers are aware of this, they prefer to keep going, both due to the urgent nature of their job and the opportunity to earn a good living. However, the presence of these eighteen-wheeler rigs on roadways during inclement weather can cause a lot of traffic congestion. Read on to learn how severe winter storms and semi-truck traffic are closely interlinked.
Adverse Road Conditions
During a storm, there is less vehicular traffic on highways, but there are several huge rigs sharing road space. Add to that the winter road conditions, which are littered with heaps of snow, ice, and snow drifts, all of which effectively slow down the pace at which a semi-truck can travel. Most truck drivers are likewise wary of driving on snowy roads, which results in slower-moving vehicles. These adverse road and highway conditions eventually slow down each vehicle, resulting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on bad weather days.
Laws for Tire Chains
Semi-truckers frequently cross state lines and must adhere to specific state highway restrictions. One such winter weather regulation involves chain laws, which are in effect in several states. To avoid accidents and mishaps, these laws enforce truckers to install chains on their tires while traveling through certain areas. As more trucks stop to put chains on, subsequent vehicles are slowed, resulting in traffic congestion. Some other areas don’t allow trucks to travel faster than 30 miles per hour during severe winter weather, which also slows traffic. Having said that, certain routes allow truckers to park on the road shoulders, allowing them to safely attach tire chains.
High Winds May Cause Obstructions
High winds during a severe winter storm can cause major accidents. This is true even for semi-trucks, which can be blown to the side by a strong gust of wind. Even the most experienced drivers may lose control, skid, and jackknife, causing traffic delays, more mishaps, and road obstructions.
Any seasoned semi-truck driver is accustomed to driving in low visibility conditions during a severe winter storm. During heavy snowfall, visibility is dangerously low, causing truck drivers to slow down and maneuver carefully through multiple winter obstacles such as snowdrifts and black ice. With most semi-truck drivers exercising caution and slowing down to see better, traffic is unavoidable.
While winter storms create enough problems for semi-truck drivers, some problems occur due to the incompetence of rookie drivers. Novice truck drivers are still getting used to navigating the road and maneuvering their massive rigs around other semi-truck vehicles. Such inept driving on their part might endanger other drivers they share the road with, especially while braking or changing lanes. Inexperienced drivers can also cause traffic disruptions and hold-ups due to their somewhat clumsy driving skills.
While there is little you can do to avoid traffic during severe winter weather, there are precautions you can take if an accident occurs. Truck drivers must seek the guidance of a truck accident lawyer to fight their case fairly and guide them through the next steps.