Winter weather conditions especially difficult for truck drivers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Drivers in the Valley met snowy and slushy streets during their early morning commutes Tuesday, forcing many to use their snow blowers and snow plows.

Large trucks created clouds of mist as they drove along the rain covered roads.

Drivers said they hope the temperature doesn’t drop anytime soon or else the frozen temperatures could cause a lot of pileups due to ice.

These weather conditions, along with strong winds, are especially difficult for truck drivers though, who have to hull loads of up to 80,000 pounds.

TDDS Technical Institute’s Safety and Training Director Larry Braham says stopping and seeing is hard enough with slick roads, but it can be especially hard when you have a 60-foot long vehicle to drive.

“You take a big 53-foot trailer and it can become a kite. The wind can literally blow you off the road, especially when it is icy. And if it’s actually icy, you shouldn’t actually be on the highway. That’s why I say you have to know when to park the truck,” he said.

Braham suggests when driving near big trucks to be cautious and careful when passing. He reminds drivers that when they see the “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you” sign on a truck, it’s very true — truck drivers have large blind spots.

“Well, visibility is down for everybody and it’s bad for us and the people we pass on the highway. We throw up a big spray. When we throw a spray up, we can’t see any better than they can,” Braham said.

TDDS ended some of their driving instruction classes early today. Braham said the conditions were not worth the risk for his students.