Our latest dashcam video comes from Kevin McGraw of New Brunswick, whose car took an icy surprise in the windshield from a transport truck on a highway near Moncton earlier this week.
The silent video shows a view of a wet, but clear road on an overcast December day. Around 17 seconds in, a minivan moves into the left lane to make room for a Caravan Logistics rig entering the highway, which McGraw begins overtaking at around the 30-second mark. And that's when McGraw's day gets a little bit worse: a chunk of ice from the near the front of the trailer breaks loose and lands on the car's windshield, shattering it. Thankfully, McGraw and his wife were unhurt, though we're sure both let fly some choice words after the fact.
As we watched McGraw pull the car off to the side of the road, we were hopeful the truck driver was pulling in behind to help out, but seconds later the truck carries on down the highway to leave the motorists to deal with the situation on their own.
This isn't the first time a New Brunswick car driver has been nailed with flying snow from atop a truck: a CBC.ca article from January 2015 said two drivers from that province in as many days ended up with smashed windshields from ice blowing off truck trailers. In that piece, the superintendent of the province's commercial vehicle enforcement unit said that driving a truck with accumulated ice and snow on the roof is a ticketable offence. Likewise, car drivers in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario (and other provinces, we imagine) can be ticketed for driving with snow on a vehicle that impedes their visibility. Ontario's law doesn't explicity say snow has to be cleared from the roof, hood and trunk, but it's not a stretch that snow could also affect the view out, especially once the car is moving that that snow starts blowing around.
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In a 2010 blog entry at TruckNews.com, former trucker Harry Rudolfs said that while the industry acknowledges snow flying off of semis is a serious problem, it's one without an easy solution, as safety rules prevent truck drivers from scaling trailers to clean off snow before they drive away. He as much as admits most truckers and trucking companies simply hope it doesn't snow, instead of trying to come up with a real fix.
This article at TodaysTrucking.com indicates that at least some of New Brunswick's highway-side truck weigh stations have truck scrapers that remove snow and ice from trailer roofs; understandably, these are expensive, but we feel that cost could easily be justified as a means to improving the trucking industry's reputation, which is not always stellar in the eyes of car drivers.