Are You Driving with “Tunnel Vision” this Winter?
Tunnel vision occurs when a driver scrapes off only a small area of ice and/or snow on their vehicle windshield to allow just enough space to see through a small hole as they drive.
This practice significantly reduces a driver’s field of vision and greatly increases their risk of collision. The Kansas Highway Patrol estimates that drivers who do not clear their entire windshield of ice, snow and fog limit their field of vision to only about two to three percent of what a driver with a clear windshield can see.
A recent survey conducted by the Center for Safe Driving found that more than 50 percent of drivers admitted to not fully clearing snow or ice from the windows of their vehicles. As a countermeasure, many states have enacted laws requiring drivers to make reasonable efforts to remove snow or ice from their vehicles, and numerous law enforcement personnel across the country are planning to target drivers who do not clear their windshields this winter. As part of your pre-trip inspection, you should make sure that the windshield, side windows, and mirrors are clear of any snow, ice, or fog before starting your route or trip. Another dangerous situation that exists is chunks of snow or ice flying off the top of your vehicle and landing on other vehicles behind you.
These chunks can be quite heavy and become dangerous projectiles that can cause crashes, injuries, and deaths. If heavy snow is forecasted it is recommended that you pull your unit away from the dock or terminal building so a drift of snow does not build up from the roof of the building to the top of your trailer or truck. As a professional driver, it is important to recognize this unsafe act in other drivers and be prepared to avoid a collision and stay out of their way.