A tractor-trailer crash caused another pileup this week on a Pennsylvania interstate. This latest crash, which happened in the early morning hours on an icy I-81 near Scranton, involved eight tractor-trailers and three passenger vehicles. Authorities told WNEP news that a tractor-trailer jackknifed, causing the pileup just before 4 a.m.
This truck crash in winter weather conditions comes on the heels of the fatal I-78 pile up this past weekend that killed three and injured more than 70 people. While these tragic truck crashes can happen anytime, there is definitely an increased risk over the winter months when icy and snowy conditions lead to slick roadways and decreased visibility. These dangerous weather conditions are common in and around the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Philadelphia areas, as well as throughout the state of Pennsylvania during the winter.
The attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli are all too familiar with the tragic consequences of a snow/ice related tractor-trailer crash and are currently litigating a case in federal court. This type of accident often means serious and sometimes fatal injuries for the victims and heartbreak for families of those involved. The attorneys at Fellerman Ciarimboli have spent their careers representing trucking accident victims, winning one of the largest tractor-trailer verdicts in the state of Pennsylvania with Gfroehrer v. Werner Enterprises, Inc. This is the type of legal experience you need when fighting against trucking companies and insurance companies.
Truckers have a duty to drive safely in all weather conditions
Commercial truck drivers have a duty to drive safely in any type of weather condition they encounter. This includes slowing down and adjusting their speed to account for slick road conditions and snow. The massive size and weight of large trucks and tractor-trailers make them much harder to maneuver and stop on slick or icy highways. We’ve all felt the stress of driving on slick roads and in adverse weather conditions. Truck drivers often spend more time on the road than other drivers and may be exhausted from the high level of stress of driving in such dangerous conditions during the winter. This added fatigue can slow reactions and make a situation even more dangerous.
If roadways become icy, truck drivers should pull their big rigs off the road into a safe spot until conditions improve enough for them to be able to drive safely. Oftentimes, tight delivery deadlines imposed on drivers by trucking companies and lack of proper truck driver training will prevent them from pulling off the road in adverse conditions.
Once a tractor-trailer jackknifes on an icy road, like the accident that occurred on I-81, it often causes a chain-reaction crash as the trucks and cars traveling behind it are unable to stop quickly enough to avoid a collision. This can cause a dangerous and deadly situation for anyone involved in this type of accident. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations require “extreme caution” in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle when driving in hazardous conditions.
The Pennsylvania CDL manual has an entire section for driving in winter that covers everything from checking and preparing a commercial vehicle for winter driving to driving on slippery surfaces. Regarding slippery surfaces, the manual requires truck drivers to drive slowly and states if roads are very slippery, a trucker shouldn’t drive at all. The manual also requires that truck drivers adjust speed to conditions, don’t pass unless necessary, avoid having to slow down and speed up, and take curves at slower speeds trying to avoid braking around curves. There is also a requirement to keep a longer following distance and be aware that as the temperature rises to the point where ice begins to melt, the road becomes even more slippery.
Act quickly if you’ve been injured in a tractor-trailer crash – You need results
Once a truck accident occurs, trucking companies and insurance companies act quickly to try to protect their exposure. That is why it is so imperative that those injured in truck accidents act quickly as well. The truck accident attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli have represented numerous victims of truck accidents and their families in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Philadelphia areas and throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
If you or a family member were injured in a car or truck accident, call the personal injury lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli in Philadelphia or Wilkes-Barre today for a free consultation. Call 215-575-9237 to speak to a Philadelphia car accident lawyer or call 570-714-HURT for to speak to a car accident lawyer in our Wilkes-Barre office.