Uncharacteristically Icy Roads Cause String of Semi-Truck Crashes in Southern California
To say that California was unprepared for a historic winter storm in February of 2023 would be an understatement. The storm defied logic, and most of us cannot remember a time when the Golden State was covered with so much snow. Of course, this type of weather is not just historic – it is also incredibly dangerous. For the countless residents who were forced to drive in this adverse weather, a wide range of new hazards threatened to cause serious injury or even death. These hazards included icy surfaces, low visibility, and much more.
When you add semi-trucks to the mix, the weather became even more dangerous. The truth is that California was not prepared to deal with this kind of weather, which is understandable since the state mostly sees sunny skies and warm temperatures during the year. When truckers drive through a state that is unprepared for this type of weather, the risk of serious injury goes through the roof. These vehicles are already difficult to maneuver and slow to brake, and icy roads with low visibility increases these pre-existing hazards.
But what can you do if you have been injured by a semi-truck during the latest winter storm in California? Is it true that you can sue and recover compensation for your injuries? How much money can you receive, and will this really pay for your medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and other damages? Let’s find out:
Icy Roads Cause Mayhem in California
On February 27, 2023, it was reported that icy roads were partly responsible for an eight-car pileup that sent an elderly man and two pregnant women to the hospital in southern California. The accident occurred in Santa Barbara – a region known for its sunshine and warm weather. First responders arrived at the scene to find the Cold Spring Bridge completely covered in ice, and they immediately deduced that these weather conditions had caused the crash. It is not exactly clear how the semi-truck was involved, but the wreckage was so bad that the elderly victim had to be extricated with special equipment. One can also assume that the semi-truck had great difficulty coming to a complete stop on this icy bridge, as these vehicles struggle with braking distance even in optimal conditions.
On February 23, 2023, it was reported that a semi-truck crash resulted in one fatality near Castaic. A semi-truck tanker collided with a passenger vehicle, causing the smaller vehicle to flip onto its roof. This trapped the driver inside while first responders rushed to get him out. Unfortunately, he died of his injuries after being transported to a nearby hospital. An investigation is ongoing, and it is not exactly clear what caused the crash – although adverse weather conditions could have certainly been a relevant factor.
Who is to Blame for Icy Truck Crashes in California?
You might assume that since ice and snow are rare in California, truckers cannot be expected to drive safely. You might even think that a certain number of truck accidents are inevitable with such serious, unexpected hazards. But the truth is that every accident is preventable, and a historic amount of snow and ice is no excuse for reckless driving. In fact, truckers are legally required by the Department of Transport to pull over and wait for better conditions if they believe it is too dangerous to drive. According to the DoT, these truckers cannot be fired for taking this responsible choice, and their employers face serious consequences if they retaliate against them for pulling over.
That being said, the trucking industry obviously incentives truckers to complete their hauls as quickly as possible, and many truckers choose to continue driving even when the hazards are obvious. This puts people in danger, and it is not acceptable. In addition, many truckers who drive through California are from other states with colder temperatures, and these truckers may be quite familiar with driving in the snow. There is no excuse for driving recklessly, regardless of the weather.
Crashes Continue in California
The aforementioned crashes involved semi-trucks, but there are many other examples of crashes across California during these icy conditions. This shows that anyone can lose control in this weather, including professional drivers and average residents. On February 23rd, it was reported that 20 vehicles collided in a pileup caused by winter conditions. Several people were hospitalized as a result of this collision.
How to Stay Safe in Winter Conditions
There are a number of steps you can take to improve your safety while driving in winter conditions. One obvious step is to get winter tires with better traction. You should also check your tire pressure often, as pressure decreases more rapidly during winter. In addition, consider reducing your speed and driving well below the speed limit. Remember, the posted speed limit only applies to optimal driving conditions, and you are expected to slow down if the conditions require you to do so.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in California?
If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced truck accident attorney in California, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured plaintiffs – including those who have been harmed by reckless, negligent truckers. We know that accidents increased dramatically as a result of ice and snow on the roads. While it is true that the historic weather represents an unforeseeable act of nature, this is no excuse to drive dangerously. In fact, it should have pushed truckers to drive in a safer, more controlled manner.
Book your consultation today to discuss your unique situation in more detail. From there, we can determine the best possible legal option. Your compensation can help you cover your medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and any other damages you might have been forced to endure. Reach out today to get started.