Did you know that approximately 61% of all fatal large truck crashes occur on rural roads, but that the majority of truck accidents occur during the day? Unfortunately, of those accidents that proved fatal, nearly 73% of fatalities were not large truck occupants. With the number of scenic rural roads in Vermont, it is important to recognize the potential for truck, semi-truck, and eighteen-wheeler accidents, especially when faced with New England winter weather conditions.
Vermont is a member of the New England Transportation Consortium, which promotes uniform permit regulations for interstate travel between participating states. Vermont requires written notice be submitted to the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles within 72 hours of a truck accident involving injury or property damage. Further, certain supplemental regulations apply under the following accident conditions:
Annually, the United States trucking industry transports nearly 9.2 billion tons of freight, and nearly 70% of freight is carried by trucks, semi-trucks, and eighteen-wheelers. Whereas the driver of a common passenger vehicle seldom has to worry about the weight differential of her vehicle, truck drivers must constantly adjust their speed and brake pressure based upon the load being transported. Certain tractor-trailers and eighteen-wheelers have tires designed to bear heavy loads, and when the load is delivered and the trailer is too light, there is actually a greater danger that the truck will “jackknife.” If Vermont’s roads are slick with snow, and the truck’s load is light, too much brake pressure may cause the back tires to lose traction, and the truck and the trailer may fold into an unpredictable “L” or “V” shape.
When faced with the potential of a truck accident on Vermont’s rural winter roads, it is important to take the following actions if a crash occurs:
Also, be aware that federal regulations require certain commercial vehicles to carry fire extinguishers and safety equipment while on the road. A truck driver may be able to provide you with such equipment if necessary.
If you have been involved in a Vermont truck accident, it is important to contact a law firm with experience handling truck accident litigation. With Vermont’s specialized reporting requirements for commercial vehicle accidents, as well as its adherence to complex interstate coalition regulations, you may be sacrificing key recovery options if you consult an attorney without truck accident experience.
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