Yes, just as with any accident involving a semi truck, the truck driver can be held responsible any time he or she was at fault, even in part, for an accident.
Semi truck drivers are required to drive for the conditions. This means that on icy roads they are required to drive at a speed that will prevent them from losing control or sliding into another vehicle.
The Fatality Analysis Reporting System recently reported that 25 percent of speeding-related large-truck fatalities occurred during adverse weather conditions. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck drivers should reduce their driving speed by ½ or more on snow-packed roads, which can be slippery. On icy roads, truck drivers should reduce their speed by more than ½ and pull off of the road if the truck can’t be driven safely. In addition, truck drivers should slow down even more for curves, exit/entrance ramps, and work zones. If the semi-tractor is pulling a full load, the driver’s speed should also be lowered.
In addition to speed, driver fatigue, driver distraction, tailgating, and just poor judgment are all factors which can cause an accident. All of these are considered negligent driving, and under the law, even if icy roads are a contributing factor in an accident, a negligent truck driver is liable for any injuries and/or deaths caused by the negligence. In these cases, the trucking company, owner of the load and others may also be liable.
Attorney Eric Hageman can be reached for a free consultation regarding a lawsuit against a driver and trucking company at 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or by email at [email protected]. He has represented clients in complex auto accident cases involving semi-trailer trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles. Our law firm is not paid unless you win.