With the most recent storm, many areas in Maryland received several inches of snow. While many people were told not to come to work due to the weather, others did not have a choice and were forced to negotiate the dangerous conditions. Indeed, according to a recent report, in just a single five-hour period Maryland State Police responded to nearly 100 accidents and 70 reports of disabled or unattended vehicles. During that same period, Virginia police reported over 400 accidents.
While inclement weather affects all motorists, truck drivers are perhaps the most impacted. When road conditions are wet or slick, the inherent dangers of operating a large vehicle become heightened. For example, during inclement weather conditions, a truck driver’s visibility of the road ahead dramatically decreases. At the same time, the distance a truck needs to come to a complete stop increases significantly. Thus, unless a truck driver takes precautionary measures, the chance of the truck driver causing a Maryland weather-related truck accident greatly increases.
Maryland truck drivers, like all other drivers, have a duty to other motorists on the road. In addition to following all traffic laws and posted signage, this duty requires truck drivers to take the current weather conditions into account.
For example, posted speed limits are provided as a guideline and are applicable only when driving conditions are ideal. Thus, motorists should slow down when the conditions call for it. Maryland Transportation Code § 21-801 provides some guidance for motorists, explaining that “a person may not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed that, with regard to the actual and potential dangers existing, is more than that which is reasonable and prudent under the conditions.”
Section 21-801 explains that motorists must drive at an “appropriate, reduced speed” when a “special danger exists as to pedestrians or other traffic or because of weather or highway conditions.” The statute lists several other situations where a driver should use an “appropriate, reduced speed,” including when a driver approaches the following:
- an intersection in which opposing traffic is not required to stop;
- railroad crossings;
- the top of a hill;
- a blind curve;
- any narrow of winding road.
If a truck driver fails to reduce his speed or increase his following distance during inclement weather, the truck driver may be held liable in the result of an accident. Anyone injured in a Maryland truck accident, or any other weather-related accident, should discuss their case with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Truck Accident?
If you or someone you care about has recently been injured in a Maryland truck accident, contact the dedicated Maryland personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we proudly represent injury victims across Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia in all types of auto accident claims, including weather-related truck accidents. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Who Is at Fault in Maryland Train Accidents?, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published February 6, 2019.
Expert Testimony in Maryland Truck Accidents, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published February 20, 2019.