Bad Weather is Not an Excuse for an Oregon Trucking Accident: Portland Trucking Accident Lawyers
A truck driver that blames bad weather for an Oregon trucking accident is possibly negligent. This is because bad weather is simply not an excuse for an 18 wheeler wreck on Oregon’s roadways. It does not matter if it was a blinding snow squall or heavy fog, slippery and icy roads or the blazing sun, any weather-related conditions that cause a big rig crash are the fault of the driver. Usually that is the driver complaining about the weather. This is because Oregon vehicle and traffic law and federal regulations require all motorists to take into consideration the weather and condition of the highway. This means possibly driving slower than the posted speed limit or even stopping until driving can be safely resumed. Learn more from our Portland trucking accident lawyers and how bad weather is not an excuse for personal injuries.
Oregon Vehicle and Traffic Law Does Not Allow Bad Weather as an Excuse for a Trucking Accident
It may seem like a plausible idea to blame an “act of God” like bad weather on a trucking crash. However, Oregon vehicle and traffic law points the onus on the motorist to take the weather into consideration when operating a motor vehicle. This includes commercial vehicles like big rigs, tractor trailers, logging trucks, and other box trucks.
Under ORS 811.100, it is a violation of the Oregon basic speed rule “if the person drives a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to all of the following: (a) The traffic . . . (d) Weather. (e) Visibility. (f) Any other conditions then existing.” A commercial truck driver that causes an Oregon trucking accident in inclement weather may automatically be liable to a personal injury victim under the doctrine of negligence per se. This doctrine finds that a statute violator liable for harm caused to a victim who was supposed to be protected by the statute.
Federal Regulations Under the FMCSA Do Not Allow Bad Weather to be an Excuse for Trucking Accidents
Since trucking is an interstate business, meaning it spans several states across the country, there is a federal agency which promulgated regulations that apply to truck drivers and trucking companies no matter what state the truck is driving through. These regulations are by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Unlike the violation of Oregon statutory law, a violation of a FMCSA regulation is only evidence of negligence and not an automatic finding.
The relevant FMCSA regulation is 49 CFR section 392.14, which provides 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.” Further, if a commercial truck cannot be safely operated during the potentially hazardous weather, a truck driver MUST stop and only resume when safe travel and be made.
Victims of Bad Weather Oregon Trucking Accidents Should Call Our Portland Trucking Accident Lawyers
Bad weather is not an excuse for an Oregon trucking accident. Truck drivers and trucking companies may be liable for serious trucking accidents caused due to bad weather crashes under Oregon statutory law and FMCSA regulations. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.