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Semi-truck Causes UDOT Snowplow to Crash Down 300-foot Embankment

On January 12, 2017, dashcam footage shows one of the dangers of sharing the road with a truck, when footage shows a tractor trailer clipping a Utah Department of Transportation snowplow. The accident happened in Spanish Fork Canyon in Utah and the video shows the semi-trailer clipping one of the winged scrapers of the snowplow. Moments later the snowplow is forced across lanes of traffic, plows throw a guardrail, and rolls down a 300-foot embankment.   This accident serves to warn drivers on the road who may be sharing their lanes and highways with large semi-trucks that they need to be careful regardless of the size of their own vehicle.

In this accident the Utah Department of Transportation driver sustained serious injuries and was subsequently transported to the local hospital to treat his injuries, however, he is expected to make a full recovery. In regards to this accident, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Transportation Carlos Braceras said: “Think of their safety and your safety.” Further Neil Lundell, South Area Maintenance Supervisor in Region 3 with the Utah Department Of Transportation. “If we can only go 5 miles an hour or 20 miles an hour, what makes the public think that they can go faster than we can,” said Lundell. The truck driver was ticketed for improper passing and leaving his lane.

How Bad Weather Affects Driving

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Every year there are nearly 5,748,000 vehicle accidents on the road according to the United States Department of Transportation. Out of these crashes, it is estimated that approximately 22 percent of these crashes or close to 1,259,000 are caused in part because of poor weather.  Most of these crashes happen because the road is wet due to rain, snow, sleet, or ice.  The United States Department of Transportation estimates that snowy road conditions lead to nearly four percent of vehicle crashes or 210,341 crashes annually.  This case is a perfect example of the dangers of driving on a snow covered road, because, in addition to the obvious hardships of driving on snow-covered roads, the snow can also make it hard to see which can negatively impact driving. This accident was caused in part because the driver could not see exactly where his truck was in relation to other drivers on the road.  As many local, state, and federal agencies have suggested when the weather is poor you should avoid driving if at all possible, however, if you need to venture out when the weather is poor, here are some considerations:

  • Slow down – Simply slowing down is one of the best ways to ensure that you reach your destinations safely when the weather is poor. Not only does slowing down allow you to bring your car to a stop easier, it also allows you to maintain more control over your vehicle, and be more alert to your surroundings. In fact, you slowing down can also positively impact other drivers as well. As quoted in this article when the vehicles in front of you are driving at a reduced speed it is a good indication that you should slow down.
  • Give more following distance – snow, rain, ice, and sleet all negatively impact how the wheels of our vehicles interact with the road beneath it. If the road is slick it can take longer for your tires and brakes to create the necessary friction to bring your car to a stop, in addition, if you apply your brakes to quickly when the roads are slick this can cause your car to “spin out.”
  • Signal earlier – If the roads are wet and it is snowing or even raining, you should consider signaling any turns earlier than you normally would. When you abruptly change lanes or exit from a highway other drivers may have to apply their brakes quickly causing them to hit the back of your car. However, by signaling your intentions to turn earlier you give the drivers behind you more opportunity to slow down and thus avoid an accident.
  • Drive within your limits – When the weather is extreme it is important to remember to drive within your experience. If you are a new driver this may mean that you need to pull on the side of the road in order to avoid driving in conditions that you are not prepared to handle. This may also mean slowing down or simply turning around to go home.

When the weather is less than ideal, remember it is not worth being on time compared to the increased chance of accident an injury.

Contact Our Truck Wreck Attorneys Today

To schedule a private, no-cost evaluation, call the law offices of Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team at (215) 246-9000 or contact us online. If the statute of limitations expires, your window of legal opportunity will close and you won’t be able to pursue a claim. So contact our truck accident attorneys today to see how we can make our experience work for you. You only pay if there’s a financial recovery.

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