Weather And Climate Impacts On Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety

commercial motor vehicle safety cover

Weather and climate change have a significant impact on the overall transportation, but especially on the commercial motor vehicle safety.

As noticed so far, weather and climate impacts on commercial motor vehicle safety have started changing slowly but surely the following aspects of this industry: the professional commercial motor vehicle operation plan, the design, construction, maintenance as well as operation.

Thereupon, weather influences the commercial motor vehicle safety in many different ways.

Starting from heavy snow which causes load delays, following with the road closures, up to a loss of friction, the weather is influencing it all.

Further, in this article you can read and learn more about the different weather and climate impacts on commercial motor vehicle safety.

So, let’s see!

General Weather Impacts on Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety

Weather impacts on commercial motor vehicle safety, that’s for sure. But most commonly it is the case in various geographical areas.

Thereupon, the National Weather Service is constantly issuing travelers’ advisories in order to improve the commercial motor vehicle safety.

commercial motor vehicle safety 2 trucks

It is no secret that one-quarter of the transportation delays and crashes in the USA happen due to adverse weather.

So, in order for those transportation delays and crashes to be minimized the Weather Information for Surface Transportation proposed help to the trucking industry with the National Needs Assessment Report.

Hence, the World Weather Research Program is helping the trucking industry by focusing their work on accelerating improvements in the prediction of high-impact weather from timescales.

Weather Events And Their Impact On Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety

Weather plays a key role in commercial motor vehicle safety.

Actually, weather events are planning and operating virtually all modes of transportation, but especially the commercial transportation. That is to say, the climate change has potential effects on commercial motor vehicle operations.

commercial motor vehicle safety red truck

Weather events can affect the commercial motor vehicle safety but as well the economic well-being of the trucking companies, the individuals as well as private sectors. Social consequences can occur too.

Thereupon, if a trucking company knows how to use the weather information in an intelligent way, they can find a way to reduce property damage, prevent injuries and crashes, and by that to save lives.

commercial motor vehicle safety truck on a brifge

Potential benefits that trucking companies can get by properly using the weather information:

  • Saving fuel consumption;
  • Better throughput and efficiency;
  • Effective traffic management;
  • Better data for infrastructure investment decisions;
  • Improved fleet operations;

Extreme Weather Impacts On Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety

Class 8 trucks are primarily designed to withstand different ranges of local weather and climate.

Nevertheless, since we are beginning to experience extreme weather conditions it is no longer a reliable predictor that class 8 trucks will go through different types of weather.

commercial motor vehicle safety future truck

So, when I say extreme weather, I refer to the unseasonable weather, storm surge, heavy precipitation, flooding, drought as well as windstorms.

Extreme weather conditions are better distinguished by the Federal Highway Administration.


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Hence, extreme weather mainly can affect traffic volume during the event and have long lasting impacts on the trucking industry afterward.

Tip: Trucking companies should have to account for more disruption, including the changing environment.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Response To Extreme Weather Impacts

  1. Re-routing or delay in shipping freight;
  2. Mode shift to trucking due to reduced reliability of other modes;
  3. Restricted access to ports and shipping channels for inland waterways;
  4. Dynamic or seasonal restrictions for trucks during times of high heat;
  5. Policy and regulation changes to restrict truck size and weights for entire roadway network or specific highway classes;

Rainfall, Wet Pavement and Flooding Impacts On Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety

Do you know which the most common types of adverse weather are?

Well, the answer is pretty much simple. The rainfall and wet pavements are the most common typed of adverse weather that does impact on commercial motor vehicle safety.

Keep in mind: Around 60% and more commercial motor vehicle fatalities occur in rainy conditions.

commercial motor vehicle safety truck

Rainfall impacts on commercial motor vehicle operations:

  • Rainfall can cause delays and by that increased risks of collisions;
  • Loss of control over the commercial vehicle;
  • Wheel spinning and hydroplaning;
  • Can double stop distances;
  • Brakes can become wet and by that can weaken or apply unevenly;

As we know wet conditions can persist much longer. It all depends upon the certain types of atmospheric and soil moisture conditions.

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Tip for commercial truck drivers:  If you are making a break due to heavy rain, do not hit the road straight after the rain stops. Wait for at least 30 minutes for the pavement to begin to dry.

Snow And Icing Impacts On Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety

I bet that you as a truck driver involved in the trucking industry for a long time have experienced loss of visibility and delays due to heavy snowing and road closures.

Well, when it is snowing the surface temperatures on the bridges and ramps is cooling more rapidly than the roadbeds. It is producing hazardous local icing conditions for the commercial motor vehicle safety.

commercial motor vehicle safety ice road

Winter conditions, that is to say, snow and ice can place additional stress on the commercial motor vehicle components. New truck drivers should be well informed about this point.

Tip for facing the snow and icing impacts on commercial motor vehicle safety: Truck drivers who drive large class 8 trucks should carry and use tire chains as snow conditions warrant.

Snow Squalls And Its Impact On Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety

Were you aware of the fact that the snow squalls are even more hazardous than long duration heavy snow events?

Well, it is so because the snow squalls move quicker over the highways. In fact, snow squalls have an important cause of crashes and fatalities for commercial motor vehicles.

Snow squalls form due to low-level thermal instability. As well snow squalls can happen due to moist air and a trigger mechanism.



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