When the weather is bad, it is always smart to slow down and take extra precautions on the road, especially when one is driving a big rig. Driving at a reasonable speed for conditions may not only save tractor-trailer operators from causing truck accidents, but it can also protect those who may already be dealing with roadside emergencies. Rain, wind, fog and other weather conditions can make visibility poor as well as impeding a driver’s ability to stop or maneuver to avoid an accident.
One such driver is awaiting sentencing after a Virginia court found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving. These charges resulted from an accident that occurred during extremely poor conditions attributed to a tropical storm passing through the area. Another accident had occurred in the median of an interstate, and a fire engine had only just arrived at the scene.
The trucker came upon the scene seconds later, and, although he claims he was traveling under the posted speed of 70 mph, authorities say he was driving too fast for the treacherous weather that night. The driver claims the wind hit his truck and it began to hydroplane. He lost control of the rig, and it plowed into the firetruck, killing one responder and injuring three more.
Truck accidents in Virginia often leave families with costly medical bills or the painful loss of a loved one. They are usually avoidable, especially when a driver controls the rig’s speed and operates reasonably during poor weather conditions. Nevertheless, thousands of travelers suffer life-threatening or fatal injuries each year because of the negligent actions of truck drivers.