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I’ve seen those lanes on highways designed for truck drivers who’ve lost their brakes.  I’ve never seen one used.  Not that I’m wishing it on anyone because even going up an incline, it wouldn’t be easy to control a big load as speed is drastically slowing.

The picture I posted above is from my own driving experience in some of our harsh mountain conditions.  At the time I was piloting a Jeep, which would generally be easier to control.

It’s a very steep slope and I’m not sure what happened once the truck rolled to a stop.

This morning I came across a video from last spring.  An amazed driver had just emerged from the Eisenhower Tunnel on Interstate 70 in Colorado.  It’s when he noticed a tractor-trailer had lost its brakes.  The smoke pouring from the carriage is a good indicator.

The truck driver hit the incline at a speed likely in excess of 80 miles per hour.  It’s a very steep slope and I’m not sure what happened once the truck rolled to a stop.  Did it come back down?  If it did, I think the driver had a rough descent.

Doing some research after watching the video I came across some details about these emergency lanes.  Trucks use them much more frequently than I imagined.  In some places in the Mountain West these ramps can have 3 to 4 trucks a week using it as an option to slow down.  The trucking companies then pay a steep price for towing.  Pulling away one of the big rigs can approach a tab of five thousand dollars.

Most people would, however, agree the cost is a bargain when you consider the number of lives the emergency lanes can save.  The video is directly below: