Flying ice

Useful tips and facts.

Winter brings an increase in the number of incidents involving large chunks of ice blowing off of the top of transport trucks and sometimes vans or cars. Damage to trailing vehicles can range from cracked windshields to more substantial damage.

Below are some general tips and facts dealing with this winter hazard.

Many drivers who see chunks of ice flying off of a truck ahead, will try to leave more room by dropping back. It is possible that an airborne sheet of ice can remain airborne for 3 or more seconds? If you are following at 60 mph you will cover 264 feet (approximately 17 car lengths) in those 3 seconds. Dropping back a few car lengths may not be enough. While the path of flying ice is unpredictable, you might be better to change lanes then attempt to safely get past the truck as soon as possible

When following trucks on the highway, a good idea is to glance up at the top of the trailer. If you see a buildup of snow on the top of the trailer, there is a chance some of that snow could result in a sheet of ice blowing off of the truck. Remember, if there is no snow visible, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some accumulation on the roof of the trailer closer to the front.

If your vehicle is damaged by flying ice and you are able to identify the driver (license plate or phone # on the back of the truck) some insurance carriers may treat the damage as a “not at fault” loss, and waive your deductible. You would be entitled to a rental vehicle even if you did not carry coverage for a replacement rental vehicle.

If your vehicle is damaged by flying ice, but the vehicle ahead remains unidentified, then the claim will be treated as a comprehensive claim. The deductible will apply and you must carry rental coverage in order to obtain a rental replacement.