moni Law Offices, P.C.
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Aurora Personal Injury Legal Blog

Tips for truckers as they drive during the winter

Those who drive for a living can't just stay off the roads during the winter months, even if the roads are covered in ice and snow. They still have jobs to do and deadlines to meet.

Inclement weather can increase the potential for a crash, so it's important for truckers to use the following tips to keep themselves and others safe:

  • Never speed. Truckers may be in a hurry to get a job done on time, but they have to drive in a way that fits with weather conditions, even if that means driving below the speed limit. Hurrying can be deadly.
  • Forget the hero complex. There are storms that truckers shouldn't drive through. They need to know when it's simply not safe to drive. Some want to be a hero, the only trucker on the road, to impress an employer. It's not worth it.
  • If they have to stop, truckers must get off the road. Visibility can be terrible in the snow, especially at night. It's dangerous to stop on the shoulder or anywhere near the road.
  • Give extra distance. Assume stopping distances need to be longer. It's hard to bring an 80,000-pound truck to a stop even when it's not on the ice.
  • Check the truck before every job. Test out the battery, the windshield wipers and the brakes. Test the defrosters for every window. Check the heat. Winter conditions are harsh, and trucks are safer when they're in optimal condition.

7 top reasons for car accidents

Car accidents aren't really accidents. They don't just happen. They're not just bad luck. The vast majority of them happen for reasons that could easily have been prevented. In fact, most accidents stem from driver error.

Safe driving helps. Defensive driving helps. But nothing can ensure that you're safe all of the time. Another driver can easily make a mistake and cause a crash that you can't avoid.

Young boy and dog die in crash with semi on Christmas Eve

A 12-year-old boy was tragically killed on Christmas Eve when the vehicle he was riding in was involved in a serious accident. The Illinois State Police responded, and they announced that a dog had also been killed in the wreck.

The driver, a 31-year-old woman, survived the crash. Her relationship to the 12-year-old boy was not reported.

What are the main reasons for road rage?

Road rage is something people often just accept as part of the modern driving experience, but the reality is that it's very dangerous. For instance, reports show that aggressive driving is involved in a full 66 percent of fatal traffic accidents, and half of people who are targeted by road rage respond the same way.

So why does road rage happen? Knowing the reasons may help you to avoid it. Below are a few of the most common ones:

Alcohol use can lead to construction accidents

On-the-job alcohol use is not contained to any one industry or entirely absent from any industry. It's always a potential threat and something employers must watch out for.

That said, experts note it's especially common in the construction industry. Other industries with high rates include excavation, mining, drilling, maintenance, repair and installation.

Evaluate the weather conditions carefully before leaving home

The lovely summer and fall weather are leaving the area, which means that the frigid weather is heading in. When you live in this part of Illinois, you can't really get away from the snow. Even though the white covering is beautiful, it is actually a big hazard for people who are on the road.

Many people automatically assume that because they grew up here, they can drive without a problem when the snow hits. This misconception can make people too comfortable, which can lead to crashes because some drivers aren't driving as safely as what they should.

Eating and driving can lead to panic and accidents

Distracted driving is not just texting and talking on the phone. It's anything that makes you look away from the road or concentrate on anything else but your driving.

This includes eating. It's very common to see people pull out of the drive-thru already eating a hamburger or taking a drink from that cup of coffee on the way to work. It's also very risky.

Shop owner fails to withdraw guilty plea in car accident case

A shop owner from Aurora originally pleaded guilty to selling synthetic marijuana to a teenage driver. She recently tried to withdraw that plea, but it did not pan out the way she'd hoped.

The alleged crime is more serious than a mere sale. That teen got in his car, drove off the road and slammed into a house. The people who owned the home were there, but they were in the backyard. The 19-year-old behind the wheel was killed.

Steps companies can take to stop ladder falls

Falls are a huge problem in the construction industry, even with modern safety regulations. Many of these falls, predictably, involve ladders.

Medical professionals point out that the accidents are preventable. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons even put out a list of steps that employers can take in conjunction with the Prevent Injuries Campaign. They are:

  • Doing more work on the ground. The maximum possible amount should be carried out before workers need to climb ladders.
  • Using alternative devices that may be safer. For instance, a company may use an aerial lift or a supported scaffold.
  • Inspecting all ladders thoroughly before providing them to employees.
  • Ensuring that all ladders actually match up well with the job. This should take into account the specific task and the weight of the employee and/or tools and materials.
  • Giving employees proper training on ladders and providing them with safety information.
  • Investing in proper accessories to make ladder use safer, such as fall protection gear.

Tips truck drivers can use to avoid accidents

With such large, heavy vehicles under their control, it's imperative that truck drivers take the proper steps to protect those around them. An accident that doesn't even hurt a truck driver could very easily kill or injure someone in a vastly smaller passenger vehicle.

Keeping safety in mind, truck drivers should:

  1. Know when to slow down. No matter what the speed limit says, truckers must pay attention to road conditions, including sharp corners and the snow and ice so common during the winter months.
  2. Pay attention, especially in work zones. The statistics show that a staggering 30 percent of deadly wrecks in work zones involve trucks. A crash could happen, for instance, when a trucker does not realize that traffic ahead has stopped or slowed.
  3. Always signal. This is true even when it doesn't appear that anyone is around. With such large blind spots, truckers can't always see all of the traffic.
  4. Get plenty of sleep. Driver fatigue slows reaction times. It can turn a near miss into an accident. If a driver falls asleep at the wheel, it can be catastrophic.
  5. Do not get distracted. For instance, studies have found that a driver who looks down to text tends to look away for an average of 4.6 seconds. This could cause the truck to go 371 feet without the driver looking at the road.
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