It was so windy on the Burlington Skyway Bridge on Wednesday that one tractor trailer was knocked over and the crossing that carries 150,000 people every day was closed for five hours.
The president of National Truck League Insurance Solutions, Rod Stiller, said this kind of claim was “very uncommon” and though high winds are atypical, area trucking companies are not only aware of the dangers but there are signs on the bridge warning about strong gusts.
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“Certainly the issue with that (situation) was he was hauling an empty trailer,” Stiller said.
“I believe if he had any kind of load at all it would not have been blown over. They need to consider the load they’re carrying and high winds, in those conditions.”
The driver, James Estepp, from Texas, said he slowed down to 50 km/h after seeing the signs warning about high winds. Estepp also remarked that he might change careers and become a pilot.
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According to Stiller, trucking insurance would be vital in such an incident - not only to the driver but also to others potentially affected.
“Truck insurers would pay for damage to the vehicle, damage to the cargo, and the auto portion of the policy would pay for the injuries to the driver,” Stiller said.
“It would pay to repair damages to the bridge and certainly if any other party was hurt and if their policy didn’t respond, the trucking policy would.”
Despite that, the coverage wouldn’t make the insurer liable for drivers simply held up by the bridge closure.
“If people are late for meetings or if it takes them extra time or extra gas, there is no compensation for that,” Stiller said.
“They are all pretty aware of winter conditions, but high winds are pretty rare in this part of the world.”
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