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Watch out for snow and ice on trucks

Truckers are supposed to clear the snow and ice off of their vehicles before they get on the highway. It doesn't always happen.

You must be careful if you see a truck covered in snow. Keep your distance and be wary. There have been cases where the snow and ice lets loose at highway speeds and strikes the cars behind. This can cause serious damage and injuries at the moment of impact, and it can also create whiteout conditions that make it impossible to see, leading to secondary accidents.

The problem -- one of the greatest safety risks with trucks for many reasons -- is their size. We've all had snow and ice build up on the hood of the car and then blow up on the window when we start driving. Even that is enough to make it nearly impossible to see.

When you get that same type of buildup on the top of the trailer for an 80,000-pound vehicle, the mass of snow and ice could be nearly the size of the car traveling behind it. The amount of weight it carries is incredible, and hitting that at 70 miles per hour can be devastating.

If you do have to drive around trucks this winter, know what to look out for. Know when to pass and leave a dangerous truck behind, or when to keep your distance and wait for the truck to exit the highway. On top of that, if you do get into an accident caused by a careless, negligent truck driver, make sure you know what legal rights you have to financial compensation.

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