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Safely trucking through the snow

MADISON (WKOW) — As snow quickly accumulated Monday night, cars were going slow along roads and highways. After a number of pile-ups during recent winter weather, a local trucking school is telling people what to do to prevent accidents from happening.

“When a truck starts losing control and goes sideways, man all sorts of things can happen,” said Jerry Klabacka, the president of Diesel Driving School in Sun Prairie.

To him and his instructors, being a safe driver is the top priority.

“Safety is absolutely crucial,” he said.

Winter weather threatens that safety for all drivers on the roads.

“Weather is a huge impact on these trucks. If they weigh a lot, they can probably drive in a small amount of snow as safe as any truck,” said Klabacka.

However, beyond that instructors teach them to stay off the roads.

“Ultimately, it comes down to the driver who has to make the right decisions for himself and for the safety of others,” he explained.

If not, things can quickly become dangerous.

Slippery conditions in January caused at least nine semis to crash. They piled up with several cars on I-90/94 near Wisconsin Dells.

Over the weekend, seven people were hurt, including one who was critically injured, after a 40 car pileup near Eau Claire, according to police. Seven semis were involved in the massive wreck.

A frightening video showed an officer in Ashwaubenon whose squad car was T-boned by a semi. Authorities said the driver was going too fast on a slick road.

“My reaction is somebody was pushing their limits too far, cause I don’t care if you’re in a truck or a car. When it’s too dangerous to drive, it’s too dangerous to drive,” said Klabacka.

He advises everyone to do their part during this next winter storm.

“There’s no secret to driving in the snow,” he said. “Get off the road and slow down. Those are the two things you should be doing and thinking about.”

Hunter Sáenz

Reporter, WKOW

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