Indiana is no stranger to wintery weather, with snow falling on its southern end in an average of 14 inches a year, to 45 inches in the north, and everything in between. With snow and ice comes an increase in roadside accidents, and eastern Indiana got a little of both recently.
Roads were slick with melting snow and patches of black ice, often mistaken for harmless puddles, and one of the leading causes of a vehicle losing control during cold weather. All this lead to the eventual closing of a stretch of I-69 near U.S. 35 in Grant County last week.
A semi-truck was headed southbound down Interstate 69 when it jackknifed in the winter conditions, its trailer sliding out of control and ultimately tipping the entire rig on its side. All the southbound lanes were left blocked near the 58 mile marker as crews worked to remove the wrecked tractor trailer.
On roads and highways experiencing icy conditions, the chance of collisions with a semi-truck is dramatically higher, but the truck drivers can still be held liable for the accident even when snow and ice is a contributing factor, especially if considered to be driving too fast for conditions. Driving too fast for conditions is understood as driving at a speed greater than a practical standard for safe traveling.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that commercial vehicles should reduce their speed by half on snow-packed roads, and to even pull off the road entirely if the truck cannot be operated safely on icy roads. People in passenger cars should proceed with caution as well and be aware of the dangers of snow and ice, especially when traveling on highways alongside tractor trailers.
Indiana State Police reported adverse road conditions throughout other parts of the state during the recent snow fall with slide-offs in Hamilton County, and slippery roads in Madison County. Fortunately for the jackknifed semi in Grant County, no one was seriously injured and no other major accidents were reported.
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