I have been reading about a lot of tractor-trailer accidents over the years. It always amazes me to read the comments under each story – because 99.9% of the time the general public (4wheeler drivers) will convict and sentence the driver in their comments.
Almost every time an accident involving a tractor-trailer and a 4wheeler is in the news the non-professional drivers (4wheelers) of the road will tell their own stories of how a big ‘dumb’ truck-driver almost ran clean over top of them the other morning. Or how these ‘idiots’ driving these tractor-trailers cause all these accidents by the way they recklessly drive on the road. Now, I will admit not all truck-drivers on the road today drive like professionals, but I would say 99% of them do.
I read an article today about an accident that happened last night in North Carolina on I-85 and the police say the driver of a tractor-trailer may not know they may have possibly caused a roll-over accident. The police say witnesses said a tractor-trailer was changing lanes and clipped the front of the vehicle causing it to lose control.
The article says the 26 year old man, rolled his 2008 Nissan sport utility vehicle three times after “losing control” around 1 a.m. So, which was it? The tractor-trailer clipped the front of the SUV or the driver just lost control? I am no accident recreation specialist or an expert or anything, but I bet I know what happened. I’m guessing it is the same thing that happens all the time out on the interstates. We already know the tractor-trailer was “changing lanes” according to the officers statement.
I’m sure I would be safe to say that probably what happened is the tractor-trailer came upon a slower vehicle or was coming up on an on ramp and needed over. This happens all the time, the tractor-trailer puts a turn signal on and an impatient 4wheeler driver will gas on it and try to pass the truck. This causes the tractor-trailer to have to slow down because the antsy 4wheeler driver didn’t want to be stuck behind the truck for a few minutes.
So, my guess is that the truck-driver signaled he needed over and looked and there was no traffic so he started over. That’s when the SUV more than likely tried to go around the truck at the same time instead of just waiting. The SUV driver realized he was not going to make it and then tried to get out of the way, and ended up running off the road and up the embankment causing it to rollover. I have seen this happen so many times and have even been in this same situation myself a time or two not as the 4wheeler but as the truck driver.
So, now here come the comments from the “professional 4wheeler drivers.”
Comment 1. The tractor trailer (deadly weapon) driver may not know he caused the wreck, and he also may not care. One nearly got me on I-85 doing the same thing. We need to give these fools that drive so recklessly the death penalty because they kill so many innocent people. The drivers got very reckless back in the 80′s and it was the truly professional truck drivers that helped during that time.
Comment 2. I don’t know how many times I’ve almost been run over by a careless trucker. One time they nearly got me trying to get over for the weigh station; I was driving along in Belmont, just got on the interstate, when the joker came over right on top of me! Wound up on the shoulder, blaring my horn away, but that idiot trucker didn’t care. He got what he wanted; the worse part is the weigh station was closed and I watched him do the exact same thing to two other cars trying to get back into the middle lane.
I always giggle a little when I read these comments from these obvious birdbrain 4wheeler super drivers. To the first commenter I would suggest that they do a little research and then they would know who actually causes all these accidents or the majority of them anyway.
Estimates of 41,000 to 45,000 traffic deaths occur every year within the U.S.. Walkers and bikers account for 15% of the total traffic deaths each year. Fewer than 9% of those deaths involve commercial vehicles. More than 80% of those accidents are the fault of the non-commercial driver. Of those death related accidents only 4% of trucks are fatigue related. Drinking related accounted for .06% of those accidents.
To the second commenter I will say this – if you knew there was a weigh station and the truck needed to go into the weigh station then why didn’t you just slow down a bit and let the truck over? Truckers only get a few miles notice of upcoming weigh stations and with some weigh stations working on “prepass” system trucks usually need in the right lane in order for the transponder to work. As for the rest of their comment I am sure it really happened as you say it did. If all of that would have happened as you say it did, where were the cops? Why didn’t you call the cops?
The bottom line here is people need to start paying more attention while driving on the same roads as tractor-trailers. Give these drivers the credit they deserve they deal with way more than you 4wheeler drivers do. Give them a break, slow down, and pay attention. Or it could cost you more than a torn up vehicle.
Truck accident stats
Gaston Gazette - I-85 rollover wreck
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I agree with you to a point. Too many four wheelers presume the HCV’s can move as easily as they. But there are two sides to your argument about who causes the crashes. It’s true, 80% of fatality crashes between trucks and cars are blamed on the auto. But let’s not forget, the police only get to interview one of the participants, the trucker. The other guy is dead. When you look at statistics for non-fatal crashes, the IIHS puts it at about 50/50 fault. Why the big diffrence? Because now there are two stories being told. And regarding the fatigue stat, what trucker is going to voluntarily say he was driving fatigued? Everyone wants to protect his livelihood. Professional truckers are the best drivers on the road. Especially considering the miles and hours and weight involved. But the are the ‘professionals’ on the road, too. They must be held to a higher standard, especially considering the potential mayhem involved. They need to be managed well, trained better, slowed down and rested. Then we all benefit.
Mr Tom Hodgson from Road Safe America, how did I not know you would be here to give your two cents?
50/50 on the non fatality accidents. Really? I would like to see a link for this 50/50 report because I have been all over IIHS’s website and see nothing of that “claim” listed.
And about that fatigue stat I quoted in the above post is actually higher than what FMCSA says it is. In a publicly communicated webinar hosted by the FMCSA on September 30, 2010 titled: 2009 – Historic Truck Crash Declines. The real number is 1.4% fatigue related accidents occur in trucking.
You are supposedly a “safety advocate” for Road Safe America, right? When will you guys start using “real” stats instead of the fictional stats you currently tout? And now you got me started on manipulating these so called reports – what about FMCSA being caught up in this scheme? The U.S. DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) misapplied its own crash numbers so as to elevate driver fatigue as a cause of truck crashes – in an effort to rationalize a change in federal Hours of Service (HOS) requirements for professional truck drivers.
You don’t have an ounce of evidence to prove any of your claims except new truck drivers do need to be trained better.
I think there is a good chance that the trucker did probably put his signal on to change lanes and the car behind him saw the signal come one and floored it trying to cut the truck off first. This has become the norm so often that I know truckers that won’t use a turn signal. I figure that probably in 1 in 4 of my lane changes someone sees the signal and tries to cut me off. Or the other fun 4wheeler trick is when a truck starts to pass speed up. I have had cars speed up 15 mph on me while I was trying to pass. I don’t think that there are very many drivers that would hit anyone intentionality no matter how much of a jerk they were being. It’s all guesswork but one thing is for sure, if everyone would find a little more patience and understanding most of these accidents wouldn’t happen in the first place.
I am a former wife of a trucker… I respect tuckers totally.. I have seen truckers about click people off when they really did not have the room to cut over… Yes, I am not saying that 4 wheelers need to drive like they own the road, but I have almost once been clipped when a trucker was passing me on icy roads and the trailer came like 2 inches from my van with my kids in it… that was not safe at all for him to pass if he could not pass safely.
I know a lot of truckers who drive with the attitude.. their car is little.. I will just run them over and they will learn to get out of the way. That is not being professional at all.