The road responsibilities of the semi-truck drivers are somewhat different from those of the passenger vehicle drivers. Passenger car drivers are required to follow the rules of the road to protect the passengers and make sure they arrive safely. The drivers of the 18-wheelers are operating vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and that can devastate anything in their path. Because of this serious injury potential that trucks pose to the public, a big rig truck driver has certain additional obligations under the safety rules that may not apply to any other driver.
Adverse Weather Effects on Truck Drivers
Weather is of critical importance to highway safety. Bad weather in the form of rain, fog, sleet, snow, windstorm, etc. can be critically dangerous and can even cause huge vehicle pile-ups. Since the commercial trucks are more dangerous due to their sheer size and weight, certain rules apply to their drivers in such bad weather conditions.
While it is a good idea for anyone facing adverse weather conditions to pull over and wait for an improvement in the situation, semi-truck drivers are required to discontinue the trip in case of dangerous weather conditions.
Truck drivers are subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) and when confronted with bad weather, they have the obligation to reduce vehicle speed, or pull off the road for a while, or even discontinue the travel for an extended period if the situation is too dangerous.
Recently, over 100 vehicles piled up due to intense fog early in the morning on Interstate 10 outside of Beaumont, California. Some reports indicated that over one mile of the highway was covered with wrecked vehicles. The deadly accident claimed the lives of two people while more than 80 people were injured.
Though the initial reports indicated fog to be primarily responsible for the vehicle hits, it is highly likely that some of the crashes could have been avoided if the truck drivers had strictly followed the safety regulations.