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Wisconsin Frozen Road Law Goes into Effect

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Wisonsin personal injury attorney, Wisonsin car crash lawyer, Milwaukee truck accident attorneyWinter driving brings a variety of hazards like slippery roads and decreased visibility. However, there is another less well-known danger that drivers should also be careful of, frozen road laws. Frozen road laws allow larger trucks to drive on certain roads that they would not ordinarily be licensed on. While this law allows trucks to perform road maintenance and keep drivers safe, motorists across the state should still be careful now that Wisconsin's frozen road law has gone into effect over all of its zones. Having larger trucks sharing the road can result in truck accidents, if drivers are not aware of how to protect themselves.

What the Frozen Road Law Is

The frozen road law is a law designed to make road maintenance easier. It permits trucks carrying certain wood products, salt, and sand for winter road work to ride on roads that they would ordinarily be too heavy for. The law permits trucks licensed up to 80,000 pounds to carry up to 98,000 pounds with no special permits. However, the law does not permit the trucks to use all roads. Most notably, the trucks are still not allowed on interstate highways if they were not before.

The frozen road law goes into effect when the ground beneath the roads has frozen to a depth of 18 inches. The law goes into effect in five different zones across the state. Zone 1 is the northernmost zone, with the zone boundaries moving generally southeast across the state. This season, Zone 1 went active on December 6th. Zone 2 froze on December 24th, and Zone 3 froze on January 9th. The state only declared Zones 4 and 5 open on January 14th.

Tips for Care around Large Trucks

While these laws are designed to help make sure icy winter roads stay safe, drivers should still understand how to drive safely around large trucks to avoid accidents. One of the most important things to understand about driving near trucks is the importance of proximity. For instance, following too close directly behind a truck or off to one side of the cab will put a car in the truck’s blind zone. This is especially true of the right side of trucks, almost half of which is a blind spot. Similarly, driving alongside a truck's wheel can be dangerous since tire blowouts can shatter car windows with flying rubber. Drivers should also be cautious about driving behind trucks in adjacent lanes. Trucks have a tremendous surface area that can catch the wind, so trailers on these trucks can end up being blown into adjacent lanes, sideswiping cars in the process.

Frozen road laws help ensure that road conditions stay safe, but large trucks can be dangerous to share the road with. If you have recently been involved in an accident, contact a dedicated Milwaukee truck accident lawyer today.

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