How To Share Road With A Semi Truck In Unpredictable Weather

January 15, 2021

It’s no surprise that the weather in West Virginia can be very unpredictable in the upcoming months. West Virginians can start the day with a little bit of rain, sunshine at lunch, and by the time you are heading home from work, there are already a couple of inches of snow on the ground. While most of us are used to the sporadic weather changes, it can be challenging to operate any motor vehicle in rapidly changing weather, particularly next to a tractor-trailer. Below are some great tips to follow in unpredictable weather.

Wind and Rain

  • Slow down. Rainy roads mean slippery roads. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) suggests reducing your speed by ⅓ when roads get wet to avoid accidents.
  • Turn your lights on. Many states require your lights to be on while it is raining, and for a good reason. Illuminating your path with your lights helps maintain your visibility even in the rain.
  • Give yourself plenty of space. You should never follow anyone too closely, but this is even more important while driving by a semi-truck in the rain. Also, tractor-trailers produce spray back from their tires, obstructing vision. By increasing your following distance, this will improve your ability to see better and react quicker.
  • Pay Attention to Swaying. Depending on a truck’s load, the lighter the trailer, the chances are higher of the truck being blown over. If winds are strong, make sure you are giving both the truck and you room. If you notice the wind swaying the trailer back and forth, it is best to take precautions and pass when it is safe.

Snow and Ice

  • Watch for trouble spots. Black ice is hazardous because you can’t see it. Even though a road may look wet, it may be a patch of ice. If you decide to pass a semi-truck, make sure you don’t have to speed to get around the truck quickly. You’ll increase your risk of losing control of your vehicle if you accelerate or decelerate suddenly.
  • Don’t stop on the shoulder. If you need to pull over, try to find the nearest rest area or gas station. Trucks that may be sliding on the road could slide into your parked car, causing a crash.
  • Keep your lights clean. Ice and snow can cover your lights, ruining your visibility. Every time you stop, clear off your lights. Because trucks sit up much higher than cars, it can be difficult to see cars, especially if their headlights are not visible.

With West Virginia’s unpredictable weather, it’s no wonder that semi-truck accidents continue to occur on our major roads and highways. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, Manchin Ferretti can help. Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation!


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