The driver of a tractor trailer in Rhode Island is operating a gigantic piece of machinery that can be over 60 feet long and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. It has large blind spots, it’s not very maneuverable, and the heavier the load that’s being carried, the more stopping distances are increased. When a tractor-trailer or a big rig / semi truck impacts with a passenger vehicle, the chances of catastrophic injuries or fatalities increase significantly. That’s why special laws govern tractor-trailer drivers and truck accident.
The standard of care in a RI truck accident| RI truck accident lawyer
The general rule is that the driver of a tractor-trailer or big rig has a duty to use ordinary care and caution for the safety of others on the roadway. That rule remains the same in winter weather involving rain, sleet, snow or ice storms. That’s because bad weather isn’t an excuse for a trucking and 18 wheeler accidents in RI.
The bad weather standard of care- truck accident
Bad weather is specifically addressed in section 392.14 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The ordinary care standard is replaced by an “extreme caution” standard when “hazardous conditions exist.” This is Exhibit “A” why you should not hire a local estate planning lawyer or a contract attorney to handle complex trucking wreck litigation in Providence Superior Court. These local lawyers will be in way over their heads,very quickly.
§ 392.14: Hazardous conditions; extreme caution.
“Extreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be exercised when hazardous conditions, such as those caused by snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust, or smoke, adversely affect visibility or traction. Speed shall be reduced when such conditions exist. If conditions become sufficiently dangerous, the operation of the commercial motor vehicle shall be discontinued and shall not be resumed until the commercial motor vehicle can be safely operated. Whenever compliance with the foregoing provisions of this rule increases hazard to passengers, the commercial motor vehicle may be operated to the nearest point at which the safety of passengers is assured.” https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/392.14 Citation: [33 FR 19732, Dec. 25, 1968, as amended at 60 FR 38747, July 28, 1995]
What’s extreme caution in hazardous conditions?
Hazardous conditions arise when it’s raining, snowing or icy. It’s recommended that when it’s raining, tractor-trailer drivers should reduce their speed by at least 30 percent. If snow is packing on the roadway, they should reduce their speed by at least 50 percent and if it’s icy, they’re to pull off the road and stop as soon as it’s safe to do that.
Because of their massive weight, wet, snowy or icy roads make tractor-trailers even more difficult to stop. If a driver is fatigued, reaction time increases. Slippery conditions decrease maneuverability, and high winds reduce control. They can literally blow a truck over.
Tractor-trailer crashes involve complicated federal and state regulations and statutes mixed with complex litigation strategies. Victims of tractor-trailer crashes in Rhode Island are inundated with enormous bills, lost earnings, pain, suffering, loss of normal life and likely permanent disability. Their lives, family and personal relationships are changed forever.
Remember that the state and federal tractor-trailer safety laws have been enacted for the benefit of you and your family. If you or a person close to you is involved in a tractor-trailer or RI truck crash, don’t give the insurer on the other side a statement. You’re not required to in nearly all cases, and in one way or another, it’s going to be used against you sometime in the future.
Contact a Rhode Island truck accident lawyer or truck accident attorney in RI as soon as possible after the trucking collision. We’ll protect your right to fair and just compensation. A Rhode Island personal injury attorney with experience in RI trucking crash litigation in Providence Superior Court will help you get the compensation you deserve for the semi-truck mishap.
In the event of a fatal truck collision in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations then your RI personal injury lawyer or truck accident lawyer will also need to be an experienced Providence wrongful death attorney.
Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys or a Rhode island truck accident lawyer for principle responsibility.