How drivers can protect themselves from falling ice sheets from trucks

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 04/04/21 •  3 min read

In winter, ice sheets often form on the truck due to the larger horizontal surface. If these come off while driving, they can become a major hazard. But how do drivers protect themselves from falling ice sheets, and who is liable in the event of an accident?

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Falling ice sheets from the truck – good tips

Snow and ice loads on the roof of a truck and also other vehicles such as buses represent a serious danger in road traffic. Fast journeys, curves, acceleration of the truck, and braking maneuvers are particularly critical. The icy plates occasionally lead to damage and accidents if they slide down while driving. The following tips will help protect yourself from this:

Do not drive up too close

It’s not just the slippery and snowy roads that pose a great risk to drivers in winter. In particular, on motorways, there is a very high risk of being caught by trucks. Partly massive ice sheets fall down. This applies all the more at night or when he has been standing in a parking lot for a long time. Then the water often collects on the roof. It can be more than 100 liters. At sub-zero temperatures, it freezes and forms dangerous ice sheets. If they fall onto the road, as the car heats up while driving, this poses a mortal danger to the following road users. Particularly heavy ice sheets can break through the windshield of the car and seriously injure or even kill the vehicle occupants. It is therefore important not to drive too close to avoid them if necessary.

Falling ice sheet – how to react correctly?

If one recognizes a falling sheet of ice, the speed must be reduced immediately and the truck driver informed by light signals. If he does not react, the police must be called to prevent major damage. Hastily jerking the steering wheel to evade the risk of colliding with others because of the sheer stress and hectic pace of life.

Caution: Be careful with snowdrifts!

Drifting snow is a sign that trucks have not been properly cleared. If a large amount of snow is constantly blowing down from the vehicle, it must be expected that there will also be ice on the roof. Last but not least, the snow blowing around is also a danger because it makes visibility much worse. It is therefore fundamentally important in winter to drive very carefully and with foresight.

Truck drivers are responsible

In the driver’s cab, the truck driver often does not even notice that the ice sheets have fallen, and this has led to evasive maneuvers, emergency braking and, in the worst case, accidents. But it is warned again and again that motorists must remove everything that could obstruct and endanger vehicles behind. This also includes ice sheets that have formed. Everyone is responsible for not posing a hazard in traffic. The truck driver must ensure the road safety of the vehicle. In the event of a hazard, he can be held liable in the event of an accident. For the insurance, however, the license plate and, ideally, witnesses are required.

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.