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The dangers of ice missiles during winter

While it may seem like this year’s winter driving season has not been affected by snow, you may be right. Indeed, we have not been pounded by snow in our region, and it might due to this year’s El Nino, but the hazards that come with winter driving still exist. Drivers should be aware of them, and more importantly, how to avoid them.

Avoiding ice missiles is especially important. No, we are not talking about urban warfare, and enemy combatants trying to eliminate you. Instead, we are talking about hazards that can be created by semi trucks. Essentially, ice missiles are pieces of ice and snow that can collect on the top of semi truck trailers. 

If they are not removed, they can become dislodged by the vibrations of a rough road and eventually fly off as the truck reaches highway speeds. They can hurtle towards unsuspecting drivers following the truck like a missile heading straight for a car’s windshield. Hence, the name ice missile.

The chances of an ice missile breaking one’s windshield is low, but the chance of it being enough of a distraction to cause an accident is high. Because of this, truck drivers have a legal duty to use reasonable care in cleaning off their trucks so that ice missiles do not form. If a trucker (or trucking company) fails to use such care in guarding against ice missiles, and the failure is the cause of an accident, the trucker and/or the company could be held liable.

The preceding is not legal advice. If you have questions about your rights after an accident with a semi truck, an experienced attorney can help.

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