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Keep your distance from salt trucks in the winter

The winter can be a cruel season for driving, but some motorists are out there cleaning Mother Nature’s cold mess. Some drivers are clearing the streets of excessive snow while others are trying to make the slippery roads easier to drive on. These two jobs work hand-in-hand to ensure that workers and residents in Indiana can have a better chance of getting to their destinations.

Salt truck drivers are especially important towards making sure that roads do not become ice rinks. There is a good chance you may find yourself driving behind one on your commute to work or your route back home. The most important tip no matter where you are at in relation to the large vehicle is to keep your distance from it. If you do not, you could suffer the following consequences:

Crashing into the truck

This tends to be one of the more frequent injuries related to salt trucks. It can be understandably difficult driving right behind this vehicle given how the salt they are laying hasn’t settled in yet and you might not be able to see what is ahead due to the truck’s massive size. You need to stay behind enough to see their brake lights and have enough distance to slide a little bit in case you come across a bad part of the road.

Even if you are not directly behind it, you need to look out for the lights or listen closely to the sound the machine is making. Last week, a young man in Hegewisch died after colliding with a salt truck heading west on his road. While the salt truck driver still went to the hospital, there was no way his ride was going to get more damage than the other car.

Street parking damage

Earlier in January, a salt truck driver in Pittsburgh struck several cars when his motor malfunctioned and sideswiped multiple vehicles. Most of the drivers parked for the night came to their vehicles the next day to find them severely damaged.

While an incident like this is highly unlikely to happen in the near future, it does remind drivers to be careful where they park. The options for park spaces are becoming limited with the accumulating snow, and the ice means that both negligent salt truck drivers and negligent motorists in general could collide with a car safely parked for the night. You will have to examine how close your car is to the curb and street corner in case you want to avoid a terrible accident.

Excessive salt exposure

Salt is a blessing for drivers in Indiana, but it can also be a curse. Too much salt can corrode a car’s mufflers, coil springs and frames. If you are driving directly behind a salt truck, then your vehicle will get far more salt than it actually should. You don’t have to change paths immediately to minimize the salt intake, but you should get it checked sometime soon after your encounter to avoid potential negative side effects.

You never know when you will find yourself tailing a salt truck, but you should be aware of these potential safety hazards for when you do come across one. Even though winter has many uncontrollable road conditions, most of the crashes that occur are the result of reckless drivers unprepared for the season.