Dust storms are one of the most dangerous weather conditions in New Mexico that people do not take seriously. This could be because many dust storms may be an inconvenience more than a hazard. Whereas other times this is because people driving in New Mexico are not actually from New Mexico and know how the dust storms can impair visibility. This is usually the case of truck drivers who are using New Mexico’s main interstates like I-40, I-25, and I-10 to navigate through the state. Our interstates in New Mexico can change direction north and south, but also east and west, which make these hubs very important for truckers. But when a truck driver does not take a dust storm seriously and there is a dust storm truck accident, New Mexicans could be seriously injured or wrongfully killed.
Here at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys, our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyer knows that a dust storm truck accident could result in catastrophic injury or wrongful death. These types of cases are much more complicated due to the extensive medical knowledge needed, but also due to the wider breadth of law which are applicable such as the FMCSA regulations. If your or a loved one were seriously injured or killed in a New Mexico dust storm truck accident, learn how we can protect your rights by dialing (505) 883-5000.
Most other truck defect accident lawyers will be able to point victims to the New Mexico laws which govern driving a vehicle in a dust storm. These are important to use because these statutes can automatically prove negligence for a victim against the truck driver and trucking company.
For example, NM Stat. section 66-7-301 requires “[i]n every event, speed shall be controlled by the driver as may be necessary to avoid colliding with a person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway.” This requires all motorists in “every event,” such as a dust storm, to control their speed as necessary to avoid an accident.
Under NM Stat. section 66-7-318, “[t]he driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed or such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.” Very relevant in rear-end collisions cases, which commonly happen in dust storms, this section requires all motorists to drop their speed or stop their speed in consideration of the “condition of the highway” to avoid a collision.
While most other truck accident lawyers will indicate those sections of law, some will forget about the FMCSA. Since trucking is an interstate business, meaning that it crosses many state boundaries, federal agencies have created regulations governing the minimum conduct throughout New Mexico. This means that the regulations apply to all truck drivers no matter what state he or she is driving in.
This is important because a truck driver from New York, Vermont, Florida, or another east coast state may not have experienced a dust storm before or know what to do. But most New Mexicans know how dangerous a dust storm can be, particularly in an instant where there is almost no visibility.
Under the FMCSA regulations, 49 CFR 392.14 governs hazardous conditions and extreme caution, and provides the following:
“Extreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be exercised when hazardous conditions, such as those caused by . . . dust, or smoke, adversely affect visibility or traction. Speed shall be reduced when such conditions exist. If conditions become sufficiently dangerous, the operation of the commercial motor vehicle shall be discontinued and shall not be resumed until the commercial motor vehicle can be safely operated.”
Thus, when a truck driver fails to slow down and stop in a serious dust storm and collides with another vehicle or person, it could be due to a violation of this FMCSA section. This means that a victim can use this violation as evidence of negligence against the truck driver.
If you or a loved one were injured in a New Mexico trucking accident involving a dust storm, please schedule a FREE appointment with our experienced New Mexico fatal trucking accident lawyer to learn how the New Mexico statutes and FMCSA apply to your case. Call the NM Truck Accident Attorneys by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can help. You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.