At 5AM on December 19, one of the first ‘pileups’ of the winter began. This one was on Eastbound I-90, Missoula, Montana, near mile marker 58, involving not one or two trucks—but a total of 5 tractor-trailers, resulting in fatal injuries for two of the drivers, including one who may have jumped over the side of the bridge, falling over 100 feet. In addition to the drivers who were hurt or killed, a first responder was seriously injured as well.
Lessons Learned . . .
- Slow down. It’s winter.
- Don’t overdrive your headlights. It may take longer to stop.
- It is generally safer to stay in the vehicle, if on a bridge.
- Expect bridges to be icy. Be ready . . . slow down some more.
- Expect rapid changes in conditions as the seasons change
- Expect the unexpected. This sounds cliche, even sounds dumb, but the minute you let your guard down you become a passenger, not a driver.
Job number 1 . . . 2 . . . and 3 is to always arrive safely at your destination.
Winter is here. Drive for conditions. ■