Saturday started out as a good day. Rosie was purring & shining beautifully as we rolled up i15 in Utah and Eastbound into Wyoming. Unfortunately by the time I got to Wamsutter WY the roads went to hell and my worst fears were realized: Rosie was about to get dirty once again. She’s actually black right now as I write this.
Anyway I came upon this accident that day, and after passing numerous trucks that were bunched up in groups, truck after truck after truck, I thought this would be a good time to broach the subject of safety on the road.
I was not around when the accident in the above photo happened, but I did hear when I stopped at the truck stop that the driver was tangled up with another truck. Whether that’s what happened or not, who knows. What I do know is that I had a couple of drivers yell at me for passing them more than once on Saturday in the sloppy, slushy, icy roads of Wyoming. What I told them and what I will tell you is if the lead truck messes up, that whole bunch of trucks behind the first truck are going to have their hands full and possibly be involved in whatever happens next, and I want no part in the mess.
One thing I find humorous whenever I hit bad roads is that, in this day and age when most people do not trust anyone, a good share of drivers will, when they come upon a slow vehicle that is going actually too slow for the road conditions, all of a sudden trust this drivers judgement with their life and bunch up behind them refusing to get into the second lane and pass.
It seems that this lead driver all of a sudden makes all decisions and no one in the following vehicles has a brain.
I always wonder, do they think that all of a sudden the second lane is going to swallow them up? That the second lane has really disappeared on them or that the roadway has all of a sudden gotten smaller? Then I go on to wonder if any of the other vehicle drivers have considered that the driver may be inexperienced, may be empty or light, or maybe has never driven in such conditions and should not be out on the road no way, no how. And yet, here they are trusting this drivers judgement.
I don’t care if you are driving a car, pick up or semi truck the best advice I can give to you is stay by yourself and give yourself plenty of room around you.
One thing I have learned over the years that I feel has kept me safe and kept my truck out of the ditch is that I stay far, far away from others (and usually far ahead of others) on the highways when the roads go to hell. I have had many, many times over the years where I was driving on pure ice or pushing snow with my bumper and I can say that any time I lost traction I stayed on the roadway because of how I reacted or the fact that I did not OVERREACT. Here are a few more suggestions:
- Know your vehicle
- Know the road conditions before you leave
- Do not over use your brakes!
- Keep plenty of room around you
- Turn your radio off so you can hear what your motor is doing
- Hang onto the steering wheel with one hand loosely so that you’re not overcorrecting
- Drive GENTLY. Everything you do on icy or snowy roads will affect how your vehicle handles. Move slowly. Turn slowly. Brake slowly. Doing any of the above suddenly can cause your vehicle to spin out of control whether it be a loaded semi or a pick up.
- Most importantly: Get off the road if you are that uncomfortable because YOU become the hazard!