Does your daily commute take you onto the interstates or freeways? If so, you likely spend time twice daily jockeying for position with these big-road behemoths. The wintry weather conditions we have thus far experienced in Winter 2023 – 2024 only make these highway encounters more dangerous.
So, why is driving in winter such a hazard for 18-wheeler truckers? Below is some useful information on staying safe around semitrucks this winter.
Beware of black ice
Black ice is different from the thick, white ice that also presents hazards to winter drivers. Because it is such a thin layer, it is nearly transparent and challenging for big rig drivers to spot before they hit these patches.
Black ice can cause a semitruck to run off the road, hit a ditch or even jackknife. Drivers in much smaller passenger cars and trucks around the big rigs can get hurt in these incidents.
Fog obscures drivers’ vision
Foggy conditions occur year-round, so drivers should always remain alert to the possibility of fog. It greatly reduces a driver’s sight range, meaning that they can see less than 5/8 of a mile ahead. That can make it impossible to spot a pile-up, a fender-bender or an obstacle in the road.
Elevated portions of the interstate will get a glaze of ice on them well before the flat stretches. A truck on the downside of an interstate bridge has lots of momentum built up and can suddenly go into a slide, impacting motorists all around them.
How you can stay safer
Some accidents are unavoidable, and injured parties can seek compensation from the liable parties. But by slowing down and giving these big rigs a wide berth in bad weather, you may protect yourself and your family from a highway tragedy. If an accident does happen, however, it is wise to get legal guidance.