High Speed, Ice and Semi Tractor Trailers
Yesterday, it seems, was a bad day for semi tractor trailer crashes. Two multiple vehicle pile ups occurred. One in Indianapolis, just west of the city on I-70. The second took place in Detroit. Unfortunately three people suffered wrongful death and as many ten people suffered personal injury. Reading about these events reminded me of my recent brush with catastrophe. I was traveling south on I-65 and was near the Southport exit. It was snowing hard and the normally three lane road was compressed into two lanes with the left hand lane partially covered with snow. Almost all the traffic was travelling at a reduced rate of speed. Most of the semi tractor trailers were in the left hand lane and were travelling about 45 miles per hour. This is in keeping with the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Act rules regarding reduced speed on a highway in bad weather conditions. In additions the truckers were maintaining plenty of room between them and the next truck. This is another good safety procedure, given that if the truck in front loses control, there may be room and time enough for the second truck to avoid hitting the first truck.
I am in the left lane and travelling about 50 miles per hour. In front of me is another car going the same speed. I honor the 2 second rule I was taught in drivers ED. many, many years ago. I am passing a semi tractor trailer, and the snow it is kicking up is almost blinding me. I say to myself to remain calm, keep control and I will get by. Just as I am saying this, a car approaches me from the rear. I can see it is going much faster than I am, but there is nowhere for me to go, so I brace. The car comes up on my rear, less than a car length behind me and flashes their lights. I think to myself, “Where am I going to go, and where does this person think they are going”. What I am now sure of is that if there is any trouble with my car, the truck immediately to my right, or even the car in front of me, this car in back is going to hit me and all hell is going break loose. I keep my cool and slowly move past the truck and ease into the right lane. This takes about 5 minutes. As I do, the car behind me, with a 20 something at the wheel gives me a dirty look, looks down at her phone and runs right up on the tail of the driver in front.
I was glad to be rid of my tailgater. However, I am hoping this little story will help you remember to reduce speed on the highway, give the car in front plenty of room, and remember that everyone on the road deserves to get home to their loved ones alive and safe.