Q

What steps can I take to stay safe as I share the road with trucks this winter?

A

Truck drivers are under tremendous pressure to deliver their loads on schedule. The pressure is more intense during winter weather, when snow, ice, and wind make driving conditions difficult and it takes longer to get from point A to point B.

Following are some of the challenges that professional truck drivers face during winter:

  • Poor Visibility – High winds and blowing snow can make visibility very poor. Truck drivers may have a difficult time seeing cars and other obstacles on or near the roadway.
  • Ice – Roads can warm up during the day, partially melting the snow, only to freeze at night when temperatures drop. This creates dangerous, icy conditions. In addition, black ice can form when the road temperatures are below freezing and rain, fog, or mist is present. Black ice is especially treacherous because drivers have a difficult time spotting it.
  • Wind – Strong, gusting winds can cause a truck to roll over—especially on wet or slippery roads.
  • Stopping Distance – Trucks cannot stop on a dime—they need plenty of time and space. In slippery or wet winter weather conditions, the distance required to come to a safe stop increases even further.

Driving an 80,000-pound vehicle such as an 18-wheeler takes concentration and skill—especially when weather conditions are less than ideal. Motorists can do their part to help prevent a winter truck accident on I-39 in the Rockford area by slowing down, staying out of a truck’s blind spots, and giving trucks a wide space cushion.

If you want to learn more about sharing the road safely with large trucks, check out our blog.