Local forecasts have been grim in recent days due to an extreme cold warning that has been in effect, and the effects have been seen locally in Portage la Prairie.
Paraclete Transport, a local trucking company, has seen some of the incidents that have happened in the Portage area, and are sharing some tips on ways to avoid being involved in accidents on the road.
Research suggests the average distance it takes a semi to go from 60 miles an hour (96.5 kilometers per hour) to zero is between 300 and 400 feet in ideal conditions. Thiessen notes, with the less-than-ideal conditions in the area right now, it's important to be mindful of distance between your vehicle and semis.
"People really just need to be aware of just general safety. Whether it's winter or summertime, pulling out in front of semis, they don't stop very fast. Right now the roads are slippery, they can't turn really fast, because that could jeopardize them and their load that they're carrying. So, give proper distance in front and behind semis, and don't pull out in front of semis, it's just too dangerous."
Thiessen outlines the ways driving near semis can be dangerous for motorists in smaller vehicles.
"When you get close to semis, there's wind currents that the semi causes, and it can throw smaller vehicles around. And right now, we have the snow dust, causing a lot of snow swirl. So you really need to pay attention and be careful when passing semis so that you don't get drawn into the semi and drawn underneath it, or that you don't get thrown off into the ditch."
Thiessen emphasized that, if a semi is parked on the side of the road, if at all possible, it is best to move over, in case the driver is outside the vehicle and to prevent any damage or injury to either yourself or the driver of the semi.