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Even here in the southeast, winter weather can be unpredictable. In fact, a snow or ice storm can be more dangerous in a state like Georgia where drivers aren't used to them than in states where they're a regular part of winter driving. In recent years, weather throughout the country has been more unpredictable than ever.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Accidents involving icy roads result in more than twice the number of fatalities as weather phenomena like hurricanes and tornadoes. The DOT says that nearly a quarter of crashes related to weather occur on snowy, icy or even slushy roads. These crashes kill on average 1,300 people and injure nearly 117,000 annually.

For truck drivers (and those who share the road with them), winter weather can be particularly dangerous. Truckers have a harder time stopping or controlling massive vehicles than car drivers. A truck that veers off the road or into another lane can cause multiple serious and even fatal injuries According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of large trucks that were involved in accidents that caused injuries rose from 73,000 in 2013 to 88,000 in 2014.

Despite improved technology on commercial trucks and other large vehicles and increased safety regulations, sometimes they're no match for Mother Nature. When inclement weather slows down travel, truck drivers may be more likely to drive faster than is safe in order to meet deadlines.

All motorists should be especially careful during any type of poor weather. Car drivers should allow extra space when they see a large vehicle on the road nearby.

However, if you or a loved one is a victim of a crash that is the fault of a truck driver, it's wise to determine what your legal options are for seeking compensation for things like medical bills and lost wages. Depending on the cause of the crash, you may be able to hold the owner of the truck, the driver and other individuals or entities liable.

Source: Go By Truck News, "Winter Hazards Coming Soon," accessed Dec. 09, 2016

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