A few weeks ago, a Muskegon man was killed on U.S. 31 when his car became lodged beneath a semitrailer. Days later, a jackknifed semi on the same stretch of highway tied up traffic for an hour.
Nine semis and a dozen cars were recently involved in a crash along westbound I-94 near Paw Paw in Van Buren County, closing the highway during a wicked winter storm.
It’s easy to pick on semi drivers, because they’re responsible for the largest vehicles on the road. And when they’re involved in crashes, they inevitably do much more damage than a small passenger car would cause.
Many drivers have had the “white knuckle” experience of traveling at slow speeds on highways during times of icy roads and terrible visibility, only to have a semi barrel pass, compounding the whiteout and further giving semis a bad name.
These drivers, and all of us, need to realize that being safe is more important than getting there on time.
We all need to slow down, keep a safe distance behind the vehicle ahead of us and, when the weather turns particularly nasty, stay off the roads if at all possible.
And by all means, turn your headlights on. It’s scary, and very dangerous, to come up on a vehicle in a whiteout and see that the driver doesn’t even have the vehicle’s lights on.
If you are ever involved in one of these chain-reaction crashes, take the advice offered by public safety officials — stay inside your car with your seatbelt on and call 911. Police warn motorists not to go outside to check the damage. That simply puts them in more danger.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.