Driving in inclement weather is difficult for everyone. Dust storms, blinding snow, heavy rain, fog, and other weather conditions can limit visibility and increase the distance required to safely stop. This is particular true for large commercial vehicles like box trucks, 18 wheelers, big rigs, tractor trailers, and other tractor trailers. This is why both common law, statutory law, and regulatory law impose special considerations on motorists operating in inclement whether. Again, this is particularly true for large commercial trucks. This is because a New Mexico 18 wheeler wreck in bad weather can result in serious personal injury or wrongful death.
Here at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys, we understand how dangerous a big rig crash can be. Individuals in smaller vehicles are almost always the ones seriously injured or killed, while the truck driver walks away from the crash. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or wrongfully killed due to a New Mexico 18 wheeler wreck in bad weather, call us today for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can help protect your rights to the maximum amount of compensation you may be entitled to.
Because trucking is an interstate business, meaning it crosses through many different states, there are going to be many different state laws which apply to truck companies. This is because all states have different laws, and these states may impose different requirements of trucking companies and truck drivers. While a truck driver may be complying with one state’s law, when he or she crossed over into another state it could result in a violation of another state’s law.
This is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, has created federal regulations which are applicable in all states. This sets the minimum amount of compliance that a trucking company or truck driver must safety when they cross state lines. Many states have adopted some of the federal regulations as their own state laws, whereas others defer to them. New Mexico has incorporated many of the same requirements in the FMCSA regulations within its statutory scheme, but the FMCSA still applies and governs the conduct of truck drivers in New Mexico.
One of the most common FMCSA violations that motorists in New Mexico may encounter is a truck driver who is refusing to slow down during inclement weather. This is because time is money for truck drivers, and the longer it takes to make a delivery the longer it takes to get paid.
But in severe dust storms, heavy fog or rain, or on snowy or icy roadways, this is a recipe for a serious 18 wheeler wreck. This is why the FMCSA has promulgated 49 CFR section 392.14, which governs commercial truck operations in hazardous conditions. It requires that “[e]xtreme caution in the operation of a commercial motor vehicle shall be exercised when hazardous conditions, such as those caused by snow, ice, sleet, fog, mist, rain, dust, or smoke, adversely affect visibility or traction.”
When these hazardous conditions exist, a commercial truck driver’s “[s]peed must be reduced[.]” However, “[i]f the 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.”
If a truck driver fails to slow down or stop in inclement weather and causes a New Mexico 18 wheeler wreck which results in serious personal injury, that is a regulatory violation which is evidence of negligence on the part of the truck driver. This allows a victim of a big rig crash to use this finding to help win his or her case.
When a truck driver fails to obey the FMCSA regulations regarding hazardous conditions and inclement weather, it can have serious and disastrous consequences for an innocent person. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, call the experienced New Mexico trucking accident attorneys at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.