Utah Truck Accident Caused by Strong Winds?

This video features Kevin Swenson, a Personal Injury attorney based in Utah.

Salt Lake City Truck Accident Lawyer

Video Transcript:

Kevin Swenson: 

You can't just say, "Oh, it's a big truck, and so they need to do something to protect me," you need to protect yourself as well.

Judy Maggio: 

If a truck accident happens with injuries and weather is a contributing factor. Could there still be a case to sue for damages? We're gonna find out the answer to that question and many more on today's episode of Ask the Lawyer. Hi, everybody, I'm Judy Maggio with askthelawyers.com. And my guest today is Utah Attorney, Kevin Swenson, who was also a board-certified truck accident lawyer. Before we get started, we wanna remind everyone, if you wanna ask Kevin a question of your own, simply go to askthelawyers.com, click on that button at the top of the page that says "Ask a Lawyer", or simply call the number you see on your screen during this conversation. Thanks so much for being with us today, Kevin.

Kevin Swenson: 

Thank you.

Judy Maggio: 

First, I wanna ask about this tragic crash that happened in Grand County, Utah. News reports are saying it was caused by gusts of wind. So how common is it for wind and weather to cause these large-scale truck accidents?

Kevin Swenson: 

So it's fairly common for weather to be a factor. In Utah, Colorado, you've got a lot of mountains area, you get a lot of rain, a lot of snow, a lot of wind, so those are all factors that you have to look at in any kind of crash.

Judy Maggio: 

So if a truck crash was indeed caused by these high gusts of wind. Then is no one responsible even if it ends in a tragic death or injury like this one did?

Kevin Swenson: 

Yeah, that's a great question. And so just because weather's a factor doesn't mean somebody is not responsible for it. Trucking companies have an obligation to use due diligence, reasonable care, to make sure that they're driving in the conditions that are appropriate. And there are regulations in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act that require them to take certain actions if the weather is adverse. So it may require them to slow down, it may require them to get off the roads, but what they can't do is say, this is bad weather, but I'm just getting in my truck and I'm going 80 miles an hour and hope for the best. So there are regulations that dictate what they do and how they act in those kind of conditions.

Judy Maggio: 

Well, obviously, these trucking companies can't control the weather. But are there certain practices, certain things these companies could put in place to prevent these kinds of accidents?

Kevin Swenson: 

Yeah, absolutely. One of the things that they can do is when they're planning a trip, look at what the weather forecast is and see if there are alternative routes. Instead of taking Interstate 80, you may take Interstate 70 where the weather is different. And so there are different things you can do to make the pre-trip planning better. And then if you do experience the bad weather, you need to re-evaluate that and see if it's still a safe situation, if you need to slow down or if you need to get off the road completely and wait for the weather to change. So there are quite a few different things that they can be doing and should be doing to monitor the weather and its effect on their trip.

Judy Maggio: 

So Kevin, in your experience and your opinion. Do you think that trucking companies do take the safety of their drivers and passengers and other cars into account when it comes to winter weather?

Kevin Swenson: 

That's another really good question and there are trucking companies that are very conscientious of that. That they do the right things, that they monitor weather conditions, that they monitor their drivers very carefully. And they make sure that they are putting safe drivers on the road. There are other companies that are, "Hey, we gotta have the wheels turn in or we're not making any money." And so they're sending them out and saying, "Hey, if it's bad weather, deal with it, but you need to get these miles, you need to get to this location." And those are the companies that cause a lot of risk for the public.

Judy Maggio: 

Are there certain things when all of us drive, when people drive and passenger vehicles to take into account when there is a wintery weather in places like Utah?

Kevin Swenson: 

Yeah, there are things we should all do and should all pay attention to. When you're driving around a big truck like that, you do have to realise it's gonna take them some time to stop, and so you don't wanna get right in front of them, you don't wanna slow down quickly, you wanna give them the space that they need. And you wanna be careful as you're passing them, but you need to use good common sense and you're driving as well. You can't just say, "Oh, it's a big truck, and so they need to do something to protect me," you need to protect yourself as well.

Judy Maggio: 

This has been such helpful information, we certainly appreciate your time, Kevin.

Kevin Swenson: 

Thank you.

Judy Maggio: 

Well, that'll do it for this episode of askthelawyers.com. Our guest today has been Utah attorney, Kevin Swenson. And don't forget, if you wanna ask Kevin questions about your particular situation, go to askthelawyers.com and click on the button there at the top of the page that says "Ask a Lawyer", it's an easy way to get those questions answered. Thanks so much for watching. I'm Judy Maggio, with ask the lawyers.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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