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Are truck accidents more common in the winter?

On Behalf of | Jan 3, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Many people get nervous driving around trucks on the roads and highways and this anxiety may increase in the winter. Although truck accidents can happen during any season, northern states such as New York and Pennsylvania are susceptible to winter weather conditions that increase the chance of a truck accident.

There are legitimate reasons to worry about a truck accident during the winter. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, winter weather accidents cause almost 900 deaths and nearly 76,000 injuries each year.

Additionally, 24% of weather-related accidents happen on snowy or icy pavement and 15% of these accidents occur when it is snowing or sleeting.

Clearly, your chance of getting into an accident in the winter is higher. When you combine winter driving conditions with the everyday risk trucks pose on the roads, you have a higher chance of being in a serious accident.

Additional factors in winter truck accidents

Along with winter weather conditions, there are additional factors that contribute to wintertime truck accidents. Many of these factors are present year-round but become even more dangerous when winter weather is thrown in.

Truck drivers often have demanding schedules with delivery deadlines that must be met. Winter weather, traffic jams or road construction can cause them to get behind schedule.

If they get behind schedule, they may make up for it by skipping break or rest periods, making them susceptible to drowsy driving. Drowsy drivers also tend to become distracted drivers, which equals trouble for other drivers on the road.

Labor shortages almost everywhere are impacting the trucking industry, meaning that trucking companies are trying to hire new drivers to keep up with their schedules. Sometimes these newer drivers do not have the proper skills or training to drive safely in winter weather.

What you can do to avoid a winter truck accident

You can stay safe when driving around trucks in winter weather and reduce your risk of an accident by following these guidelines.

Keep an eye on the temperature. When it falls below freezing, road conditions can become icy and slippery. All drivers should be driving slowly and appropriately for the conditions when this happens.