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Bad Weather Truck Accident Lawyers

Driving on our nation’s highways can be stressful enough, but bad weather can raise the risk of a serious accident for any motorist.

Of the almost 5.8 million motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. every year, approximately 21% are weather-related. The chances of a severe accident in rain or snow are even more significant for tractor-trailers, and the potential consequences of a crash may be disastrous for other vehicles on the road.

One might think that the truck’s size and weight would make them more stable in heavy rain or snow, but inclement weather can increase crash dangers. For example, if a trucker drives too fast in the rain and suddenly hits a puddle of standing water, they could hydroplane and smash into other vehicles.

If you were injured in a truck accident in bad weather, you should speak to a bad weather truck accident lawyer at Nix Patterson today. Our experienced truck crash attorneys will investigate the accident and determine who was liable and if the weather was a contributory factor. If another party was negligent in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation in a personal injury claim.

Bad Weather that Causes Truck Accidents

Regardless of where you reside in the United States, our country has its share of severe weather. Some of the most hazardous bad weather that contributes to truck accidents are:

Heavy Winds

Heavy crosswinds or weather where winds gust at 34 miles per hour or more are dangerous for commercial trucks. Gusts of wind are difficult to predict and happen suddenly, which increases the chances of a crash. One of the reasons wind can be so dangerous is that an 18-wheeler has a higher center of gravity, making them more vulnerable to tipping over. Heavy winds also increase the chances of a commercial truck overturning onto smaller vehicles.

Heavy Rain

An American Meteorological Society study found that the chances of a fatal wreck increase by 34% when precipitation occurs. Heavy rain makes it harder to see at highway speeds. When rain mixes with oil and asphalt on the road, vehicles can lose traction and hydroplane. The oily mixture on the road can cause a truck to slide even without it hitting a pool of standing water.

Unfortunately, if a truck loses control and slides on a wet road, its sheer size and weight can cause a terrible multi-vehicle crash. While the truck’s anti-lock brakes will pump automatically on a slick surface, the chances of an accident are still significant.

Fog or Smoke

Other conditions, such as heavy fog or smoke, can affect visibility and increase the crash risk. During heavy fog, the trucker may not be able to see that they are driving in another traffic lane. Or, they may be unable to see stopped traffic ahead, and there could be a massive pile-up accident causing severe injury or death. 

Laws for Driving Trucks in Bad Weather

Commercial truck drivers are required by federal law to operate their rigs carefully in bad weather conditions. For example, Article 392.14 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) states that anytime traction or visibility is affected, extra caution should be exercised on the road. This includes these weather conditions:

  • Rain
  • Sleet
  • Snow
  • Fog
  • Ice
  • Smoke
  • Dust

The FMCSR puts the truck driver responsible for driving safely in bad weather. However, it is common for truck drivers to cave into the pressure from their employers to keep driving regardless of the weather. They may fear being fired for slowing down or stopping in inclement weather conditions. If the driver was forced to drive in bad weather, a Nix Patterson truck accident attorney will work to hold them accountable.

Common Truck Accidents in Bad Weather

Truck drivers are supposed to use extra caution when driving in bad weather, but accidents still happen. Some of the most common truck accidents in bad weather are:

Tipping Accidents

Tractor trailers have a high center of gravity and are top-heavy. These factors mean they are more likely to turn over in heavy winds or on slick roads when the driver changes directions suddenly. If it rolls over, a big rig can crush smaller vehicles in the adjacent lane.


Hydroplaning can happen when vehicle tires lose contact with the surface, causing a loss of control. This problem is hazardous when a truck hydroplanes because of its enormous size and weight. A fully loaded truck can tip the scales at 80,000 pounds and if it hydroplanes, it could easily destroy multiple vehicles in an accident.

Rear-End Crashes

On slick roads and in conditions with limited visibility, there is a higher chance of rear-end crashes. If a truck is going too fast for the conditions and cannot stop in time to avoid traffic ahead, there could be a catastrophic rear-end crash involving many vehicles and occupants.

Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident Due to Bad Weather?

Accidents involving commercial vehicles are often more complex than an accident involving standard passenger vehicles, and determining liability can take longer. If a truck accident happens in bad weather, there will be an investigation to determine if the driver, company, or another party was negligent. If the truck driver failed to uphold their duty of care in bad weather, both the driver and their employer could be held liable in a civil lawsuit.

Other parties that could be negligent in a bad weather truck accident — depending on the circumstances of the incident — may include the manufacturer of a defective part, the maintenance crew, or the company responsible for loading the trailer.

Your Nix Patterson bad weather truck accident attorney will thoroughly investigate and identify every potentially negligent party.

Contact Nix Patterson’s Truck Accident Lawyers Today

After a truck accident, you could feel shocked and overwhelmed about what happened and who to hold accountable for your injuries, lost wages, and mental and physical pain. This is understandable — you don’t need to go through it alone.

When you retain a Nix Patterson truck accident attorney, our truck accident injury team can review your truck crash case and help to determine who caused it.

Once we do all we can to establish liability, we will work hard to obtain a fair settlement for your losses. Please contact the truck accident attorneys at Nix Patterson today for a complimentary legal consultation.


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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