Weather conditions sometimes make it more dangerous to drive. This is particularly important when it comes to large commercial trucks - when a big truck is involved in a crash, the odds of a severe injury or death go up significantly.
That's why the trucking regulations specifically specify that truck drivers are not allowed to drive their 18 wheelers when weather conditions make it too dangerous to drive. These truck safety rules can be found in at least two different sources.
Here in Texas, one weather condition we see quite often that impairs visibility is FOG. Foggy conditions in Texas can make it very dangerous to be on the road, particularly a large commercial truck.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations ("FMCSR") address this topic. The FMCSR are federal truck safety laws that almost all 18 wheeler companies and drivers must follow. Section 392.14 provides as follows:
Hazardous conditions; extreme caution. Extreme 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. 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. Whenever compliance with the foregoing provisions of this rule increases hazard to passengers, the commercial motor vehicle may be operated to the nearest point at which the safety of passengers is assured.
The Texas Commercial Motor Vehicle Handbook also addresses this issue. This handbook applies to even more types of commercial trucks and truck drivers than the FMCSR. The handbook states:
The best advice for driving in fog is don’t. It is preferable that you pull off the road into a rest area or truck stop until visibility is better. If you must drive, be sure to consider the following:
Obey all fog-related warning signs.
- Slow before you enter fog.
- Turn on all your lights. Headlights should be on low beams.
- Be prepared for emergency stops.
If you have any questions about weather-related safety issues as they apply to 18 wheelers, please contact us at 877-724-7800.