Winter has arrived and some areas of the country are currently buried under record snowfalls. The roads are bad, but we all still need to get to work and the grocery store and myriad other places. Let this video be a lesson as to why we all need to slow down and leave extra space when driving in snowy weather.
It is an amazingly easy concept. The roads are slick. Visibility is limited. It makes sense to ease up on the gas pedal and leaving plenty of extra space between you and other cars on the road. Not everyone does this, however, which is how you end up with a mess so bad it shuts down an entire highway.
The scene here happened on U.S. 31 southbound in Michigan on December 26. This is a region used to getting snow, so people don’t cower in their living rooms all winter. They get out there and drive, sometimes to their own detriment.
Even if you have four-wheel drive, know how to drive in the snow, and it doesn’t rattle your nerves, you’re not immune to multi-car accidents. These are especially dangerous on the highway where people are driving at high speeds and don’t have time to slow down when their car acts less like a car and more like a hockey puck in an ice rink.
The video comes from a tow truck and starts as the truck approaches the beginning of the scene. He gets passed by a pickup truck that’s cruising right along, until he’s not. The first sign of trouble is a cloud of snow as the guy veers into a ditch. Turns out, this was the right call since the road ahead is littered with damaged cars.
The tow truck weaves his way through the mess, which includes cars in ditches, some that avoided damage and are stuck idling between wrecks, and plenty of vehicles with visible body damage. There’s every kind of vehicle in this mess from sedans to trucks to tractor trailers.
Those of you who think this could never happen to you because you have four-wheel drive, please take note of the Jeep on its side in a ditch. Yeah, there’s even a Jeep, proving the most worthy of off-road vehicles can succumb to driver error.
Winter has only just arrived so most of us have months of this type of weather in store. No matter what kind of vehicle you have and no matter how confident you are out in the snow, slow it down and leave plenty of extra space to maneuver when it snows.