Crashes caused by truckers result in more serious injuries because commercial trucks are so much bigger than the other vehicles on the roads. The danger is even greater when there is dense fog that limits visibility—a common problem in Texas. If a trucker doesn’t drive safely in fog, he not only risks hitting another vehicle, but he could also cause a pile-up with multiple life-threatening injuries and fatalities.
How Unsafe Driving by Truckers in Fog Causes Serious Crashes
Fog can occur at any time and can be extremely dangerous—especially on the highways in Dallas and Fort Worth. It often occurs unexpectedly and quickly reduces visibility significantly. Of course, it is unsafe when a trucker fails to slow down when driving in fog, but there are other unsafe practices that could result in a crash, such as:
- Not using the proper lights. A trucker should use his fog lights, low beam lights, and hazard lights to help other drivers see him. High beam lights should not be used because this can blind other drivers. Truck lights need to be kept clean so they work properly when fog comes on unexpectedly.
- Not communicating with other truckers. It is important that a truck driver stay in contact with other truckers through the use of a radio or cellphone to get advance warning of upcoming fog. If a trucker is not expecting a very foggy stretch of the road, it is much more likely that he will hit another vehicle.
- Not using the vehicle in front as a focal point. A trucker needs to use the vehicle ahead of him as a focal point, focusing on the tail lights. This is especially important in giving warning of upcoming curves the trucker can’t see.
- Failing to turn down the radio. Sometimes a trucker will hear signs of a traffic problem before seeing it in fog, and it is critical that a truck driver listen for this—not music.
- Not keeping more distance than normal from the vehicle in front. Other drivers could brake or stop suddenly, and if a trucker doesn’t leave enough space between himself and the vehicle in front of him, he could cause a crash.
- Not using street reflectors and the edge of the road as a guide. If a trucker doesn’t use these as a guide, it is more likely he’ll go off the road or veer into another lane and other motorists.
- Passing other drivers. Truckers should avoid passing other vehicles, if at all possible, when there is poor visibility. Passing other drivers in fog increases the chance that the trucker will cause a crash.
- Not being aware of wet pavement. When there is fog, the roads are usually wet too. It is important for a trucker to be aware of this to avoid hydroplaning.
Even if a motorist is careful when she encounters fog, the trucker she is sharing the road with may be over-confident in his abilities and may not drive safely. If his carelessness causes a crash, an injured victim may be able to recover compensation from the truck driver and the trucking company if the trucker was negligent in causing the wreck.
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