One danger that may not be readily apparent to you as you drive on the highway this winter is the risk of large sheets of ice falling off of tractor trailers. Every year, there are numerous incidents where a driver suffers a serious personal injury or is involved in a car accident after losing control of the vehicle when a chunk of ice smashes through the windshield.
If you’ve driven on the highway long, you’ve probably had to deal with minor debris hitting your car from large trucks. The large tires of tractor trailers are good at kicking up small rocks and dump trucks have a tendency to lose small bits of what they’re hauling as they hit bumps in the road. Usually this only causes minor scratches or cracks in passenger cars (not to mention the headache of patching these minor damages).
In the winter time, though, the tops of tractor trailers can accumulate large blocks of ice that are liable to break free at any moment. The large flat surface of a trailer roof catches lots of snow and water which can shift easily as the truck moves.
The Chicago Daily Herald has recently reported on a handful of accidents in which thousands of dollars in damage and moderate personal injuries have been caused by falling sheets of ice. New York is considering changing its laws about clearing ice from trucks after a woman there was killed when a piece of ice smashed through a windshield after falling off a tractor trailer.
Unfortunately, it is hard to track the number of these types of incidents each year. Sometimes they go unreported and even in severe cases, the truck that loses the ice is often never found. Perhaps if we had a better understanding of just how big a problem this is, we might see more aggressive regulation to reign in these types of accidents.
If you have been involved in an accident where ice or some type of falling debris has damaged your car and caused injury, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case as soon as possible. Be sure to document any information you have about the incident and vehicles involved.