After failing to obtain Pennsylvania General Assembly approval previously, a state senator recently reintroduced legislation that will require drivers of tractor-trailers to ensure that their vehicles are free of accumulated ice and snow before taking to the road. She is hopeful that the proposal will be successful this time. Although truckers may be penalized if someone suffers severe injuries that are caused by ice or snow originating from a truck under current law, she endeavors to be proactive and prevent such truck accidents rather than waiting for tragedies to happen.
Snow accumulation on vehicles can freeze to form hard chunks of ice. When in transit, the wind can cause these chunks to dislodge and strike other vehicles on the road. It was just such a tragic incident that prompted the senator to propose the bill. In 2005, a chunk of ice smashed through the windshield of a minivan on Christmas Day. An occupant of the minivan lost her life in the accident.
The proposed legislation will hopefully prevent such tragedies before they happen and serve as a deterrent for drivers who rely on the wind to remove the snow from their trucks. Under the new law, company owners and drivers will be held responsible if authorities determine that reasonable efforts were not made to remove snow from their vehicles. It is reported that some national companies already have ways in place to deal with accumulated snow on vehicles that are implemented before drivers are allowed to leave on trips.
Road users in Pennsylvania who have been victims of car or truck accidents that were caused by a driver's failure to remove ice and snow from his or her vehicle may have suffered severe injuries and property damage. Compensation for losses may be pursued by filing a personal injury claim in a Pennsylvania civil court. If such accidents were fatal, the surviving family members are free to file wrongful death claims to pursue monetary compensation for final expenses and other documented losses.
Source: lehighvalleylive.com, "Pennsylvania bill would require truckers to clear tractor-trailers of snow and ice", Jim Deegan, Jan. 22, 2015