Parked Truck

One of the trucks parked behind the Flying J Plaza just southeast of Great Falls, a common stop for drivers to refuel and catch a break after driving for hours on the highway. Image by Afiq Hisham. 

GREAT FALLS - Cascade County got its fair share of slippery roads thanks to the winter storm that started Tuesday, creating road hazards for any vehicle on the highway.

While conditions across parts of North Central Montana were a bit calmer Wednesday compared to areas in the south, truckers visiting the Flying J Plaza said it doesn't make the roads any less hazardous for them to drive on.

In fact, they described them as wet, icy and slick. Those road conditions are dangerous for any driver, and those in trucks especially have to mind their speed, since the weight of their vehicles and cargo combined can make it tricky to safely slow down.

Ian McDonald has driven trucks for a living for over 30 years. When it comes to driving across Montana in snowy weather, McDonald said not being prepared is one of the biggest mistakes truck drivers can make.

"A lot of people go out and they don't bring an extra jacket or boots or things like that, and they drive like it's still summer,” said McDonald. “They get in trouble, and then they're stuck, and all of a sudden they have no jacket, they have no boots, and they're standing on the snow bank on the side of the road."

If you're driving by and want to safely pass a truck on the snowy roads, Ian recommends giving truckers plenty of space before switching lanes, instead of driving right alongside them.

Whether you drive a truck, car or another vehicle entirely, the best thing you can do is to slow down and be considerate of other drivers. 

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