Last week, I was in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The weather was mostly nice and comfortable, but one day, a thunder storm warning was issued.
The warning stated that 70 mph winds were expected, with hail the size of marbles and both lighting and thunder.
Sure enough, the storm came through as predicted.
As I watched the thunderstorm roll in, I saw many semi-trucks speeding down the highway. Truckers were trying to beat the storm.
Truckers should plan for dangerous weather
Part of the job of a professional trucker is to plan for weather conditions. Drivers need to look at impending weather conditions, and plan for:
- Excessive heat;
- Heavy rain;
- Thunderstorms (including lightning and hail); and
- High winds.
Truck drivers are supposed to check the weather forecast for their location where they are going, and where they will be at the end of the day.
If they work for a motor carrier, then the dispatcher is supposed to help them plan to avoid dangerous weather.
All semi-truck drivers should be trained to account for the weather,
traffic, and road conditions in each and every trip.
I have been a personal injury lawyer for more than 30 years. In that time, I have seen way too many crashes caused by the failure to consider dangerous weather warnings.
I have reviewed truck crash cases where the driver had not considered snow and ice conditions. Severe winter weather conditions that take the control of a big rig away from the driver – and essentially make it a speeding weapon.
I have seen what happens when a new long-haul trucker ignores high wind warnings, and a semi-truck tips over.
And I’ve learned why semi-trucks jackknife in heavy rain.
For trucking companies, time really is money. But by ignoring weather forecasts, they are putting their drivers – and everyone else on the road – in peril.
No life is worth the risk of driving in conditions in which complete and safe control of a big rig are not 100% in the hands of a commercial driver.
Weather is becoming increasingly hot and humid. These conditions lead to more thunderstorms like the storm I saw coming down the highway in Wyoming.
I hope that professional truckers and motor carriers get prepared for more dangerous weather.