Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

What Factors Increase the Risk of a Commercial Trucking Accident?

What factors increase the risk of a commercial trucking accident? Are there particular behaviors or driving conditions that motorists should be particularly alert to as they travel down the road? Weather conditions, the condition of the road, time of day, light conditions, and many other factors can increase accident risk. Even when the roads may seem "safe," motorists must remain vigilant because hidden dangers are plentiful when large trucks are present. The FMCSR specifically requires that truck drivers not operate in hazardous conditions like bad weather, fire and smoke, icy road conditions and similar hazardous conditions. The truck drivcr is required to pull off of the road and stop until it is safe to drive. Few actually follow this regulation. This regulation is 49 CFR Section 392.14. It requires that extreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be exercised when hazardous conditions exist, such as those caused by snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust, or smoke and adversely affect visibility or traction. The regulation requires that the operation of the commercial motor vehicle shall be discontinued until it can be safely operated.

The type of road is a significant factor in assessing accident risk. In 2016, there were 47,020 motor vehicle accidents in Kansas which caused a total of 221 fatalities on straight and level roads. This makes straight and level roads the most dangerous in the state. Many roads in Kansas have very narrow shoulders and when semis drive on these back highways they cause more accidents than normal.

There were 8,777 accidents in 2016 in Kansas which caused 66 fatalities on straight on grade roads. There were a total of 2,851 accidents on curved, level roads which caused 46 fatalities. These were followed by 2,015 accidents which caused 33 fatalities on curved on grade roads. Traveling over hills is also dangerous. In 2016 there were 906 accidents on straight roads at the tops of hills, and 121 accidents on curves at the tops of roads. Combined, these caused 13 fatalities.

Daytime hours are also the most dangerous. In 2016, there were 39,086 accidents which occurred during daylight. That same year there were 10,142 accidents that occurred after dark without street lights present, and 8,353 that occurred in the dark with street lights present. By comparison, relatively few accidents occurred at dawn and dusk, with 2,097 occurring at dawn, and 1,614 happening at dusk.

Not all accidents in Kansas involve adverse weather conditions. In 2016, 88.2% of accidents occurred when no adverse weather was present. When bad weather was a contributing factor, 7.1% of accidents involved rain, mist, or drizzle. A further 1.2% involved snow, and .2% involved both wind and snow. Freezing rain was a factor in 1.1% of accidents, strong winds contributed to .5% of accidents, and fog contributed to .6% of motor vehicle accidents.

Overall, the accident statistics and causes for all motor vehicle accidents in Kansas in 2016 mirrored those identified within the Large Truck Crash Causation Study conducted by the NHTSA which examined crashes from April 2001 through December 2003. The data gathered by the study shows similar causes and relative risk for a commercial trucking accident based on road type, lighting, and weather conditions. Motorists should be aware of these conditions and take precautions in order to avoid a commercial trucking accident when sharing the road with large trucks. Truck drivers have a duty of reasonable care that includes adjusting their driving behaviors for weather and road conditions and are required by law to obey applicable regulations and signage at all times.

Brad Pistotnik Law represents clients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois who experience a commercial trucking accident. Our attorneys, lawyers and abogados also work on motorcycle accidents, car accidents, bicycle and motor scooter accidents with cars, trucks and semis and all other types of personal injury cases.

Whether the accident occurred in Lawrence, Liberal, El Dorado, Wichita, Garden City, Liberal, Newton, McPherson, Salina, Colby, Hays, Goodland, Satanta, Ulysses, Kingman, Pratt, Great Bend, Wellington, Winfield, Lawrence, Arkansas City, Emporia, Kansas City, Overland Park, Shawnee, Dodge City, Hutchinson, Gardner, Scottsbluff, York, Norfolk, Fremont, Muskogee, Bartlesville, Stillwater, Grand Island, Independence, Springfield, Columbia, La Vista, St. Louis, Glenpool, Choctaw, Falls City, Jacksonville, Orlando, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Harlingen, Port St. Lucie, Casselberry, Libertyville, Lincoln, McKinney, Leavenworth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Texarkana, or elsewhere in these states, our team works to secure the compensation our clients need to recover from an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle.

We are Brad Pistotnik Law. ® We are Abogado El Toro. ® Hire the real Brad. ® Call in the Bull. ® We are the Bull Attorneys! ™ Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL. Our main office location is at 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 204, Wichita Kansas 67206. Our Garden City office is at 3102 E. Kansas Avenue, Suite 100, Garden City, Kansas. We always give free consultations and we answer the phone 24/7 and on weekends and holidays for free legal consultation.