Louisiana doesn’t see snow and ice often, but when it does, it’s a major hazard. People driving in the area may not be familiar with how to handle their vehicles in these conditions, and some may make mistakes that put themselves and others at risk.
This is particularly dangerous if the driver is behind the wheel of a large truck. Drivers who are trained in the southern states may not be familiar with driving in winter weather conditions like heavy snow or on ice. As a driver, that puts you at risk.
Why do large trucks struggle on ice or snow?
To start with, trucks are heavier than other vehicles most of the time. These vehicles are already harder to stop, but when the fiction of the road’s surface is nullified, this makes for a dangerous combination. When the tires have nothing to grip, the truck driver may not be able to stop the vehicle and could end up causing a crash. If only the rear tires fail to slow or stop but the cabin does, the vehicle may fishtail and jackknife, potentially hitting several lanes of traffic.
While around 70 percent of the country is located in regions where snow and ice are common, Louisiana only gets icy and snowy conditions on rare occasions. Even slushy conditions make it more dangerous for drivers, so combined with a lack of friction, poor education in winter weather driving and the heavy weight of a vehicle, conditions are ripe for serious wrecks.
Another thing that affects drivers is a lack of winter-weather preparedness. Without a fleet of salt trucks or plows, a sudden or heavy snow could make the roads impassible and extremely dangerous for drivers who decide to continue on.
If you’re hit by a commercial driver, understand that he or she should know how to drive in many conditions. Even if not, it’s the individual’s responsibility to stop if he or she can’t handle the vehicle.