Professional drivers prefer to play it safe on icy roads

HOUSTON – Police advised motorists to stay off icy roads Tuesday, but many drivers didn’t heed the warning -- which resulted in hundreds of car crashes. But what do professional drivers do -- folks whose income depends on staying on the road?

The parking lot at Love's Travel Stops & Country Store in Katy was packed Wednesday morning with truck drivers
waiting for the ice to melt.

Farrell Hudgins, from South Carolina, said that during the height of the storm, parking for big rigs was at a premium.

"I actually went to three different truck stops looking for a place to park yesterday," he said.

Hudgins was near San Antonio when I-10 started to ice. He didn’t go very far after that.

"I went with traffic for a while, for maybe 40 miles, and I just decided to pull over 'cause it was slow going and I was passing wreck, after wreck, after wreck. That’s a good indication to get off the road," he said.

A truck driver's livelihood depends on getting his cargo to its destination on time. And every driver we spoke with said they don’t drive when roads are as icy as they were during the big storm.

"You use your common sense. They can make a new truck, but they can’t make a new you,” Daniel Williams, of Houston, said.

“To run on this ice condition is really bad. So, I prefer to stop. I don’t care about the load, if it’s late or not. I prefer to stop," Emilio Akosima, from El Paso, said.

Of course, there are some truckers who keep going no matter what.

One of them jackknifed his truck on the North Freeway at Cavalcade early Wednesday morning. It took five hours to clear the wreck.

Drivers said being professional means playing it safe.

“Obviously you gotta get the load there on time, but it’s not worth risking your life or hurting someone else,” Hudgins said.