Big rig hits snow bank avoiding dump truck — Could trucker have prevented it?

| November 27, 2013
Truck driver John Doe swerved to the right and into a snow bank to avoid a dump truck who had dipped into his lane and was coming right at him. Could he have prevented the accident?
Truck driver John Doe swerved to the right and into a snow bank to avoid a dump truck who had dipped into his lane and was coming right at him. Could he have prevented the accident?

A few days after the harsh cold of winter dropped a few feet of snow on the two-lane highway Rambler Road in the middle of Arkansas, truck driver John Doe was navigating the icy ruts and trying to make it through the dreary day. 

His truck was covered in salt-spray, and he was piloting it slowly and carefully. 

Related

Chevy pickup turns corner, slams truck’s trailer — Could trucker have prevented it?

Truck driver John Doe was waiting to be unloaded when a pickup roared around the corner of the restaurant and smashed into his trailer’s ICC ...

He then noticed a dump truck coming at him quickly in the other lane. Then, suddenly, the oncoming dump hit one of the deep ruts and popped into Doe’s lane, heading straight for Doe in a would-be head-on collision. 

Doe immediately jerked his steering wheel hard to the right, steering his truck and trailer right into a snow bank, snapping off part of his bumper. 

The dump truck slid right on by him and kept going. 

Other than the bumper, Doe’s rig was just fine, and he got back on the road and continued his run. 

However, Doe’s safety director hit him with a preventable accident charge, which he immediately contested. The National Safety Council’s Accident Review Committee made the final decision, ruling in favor of Doe. 

The NSC said Doe had avoided a collision by moving to his right, which was his only alternative.

This was an adaptation of Overdrive sister site CCJ‘s “Preventable or not?” series, which appears regularly on CCJdigital.com.

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  • Tom T

    This is a typical response from many safety directors
    who in a tight market of drivers willing to work for the
    pay they offer along with all the other problems we
    all know about; by putting a chargeable accident on a
    driver`s record it effectively keeps him from jumping
    ship to another company and it works. With over a
    100% turnover rate in the industry, every tactic is on
    the table. Not a new game and there are others such
    as using DAC.

  • rooshooter

    That sounds like a spot on assessment of the problem which acts as a solution for safety directors. I,myself, was at a loss as to why his boss would want to cry “preventable”. I’m out of the game now for 5 years and not sorry. Good luck to those committed to staying in the industry.

  • PattyCakes

    Certainly, it was J. Doe’s mother’s fault …. had she had an abortion, J. Doe would never have been in the situation of being assaulted by a out-of-control moron in a Dump Truck … also, had he called out sick or even dead, he would never been in the situation !

    Obviously, the Shaft-Me-Dept. Director is falling down on the job or he’d have eagerly searched out the I D of the assaulting dump truck driver and hired him for the obvious talent of Causing an Accident but escaping Cost-Free and offered said driver a job …. that’s the kind of talent they love to hire, ’cause they have a clean DAQ report ! ! !

    Suicide prevents ‘ Preventable Accidents ‘ and FMCSA downtime.

  • Del Ray Johnson

    This is the fault of every driver you now the ones “I was driving since 1949″, “I hate Mexican drivers,” “I was driving at age 15,” and other nonsense. Let me be clear like my well documented comments on the Price of Freight going UP+ the only “accidents” that are relevant is if a trooper issues a ticket who the @#$%X is a safety director and if a company thinks it is funny please put information on my DAC that contradicts a ticket not issued at the scene. We need to stop putting up with nonsense and get serious treat this live a business and our livelihood!

  • jesse wood

    it,s always the truck drivers fault just for being there at the time it happened

  • Jerry

    Ice, some Carriers want their drivers to inform them about icy conditions. i.e. where those drivers will be shut down until the ice has been removed. Purpose: To decrease the number of accidents during periods where weather related accidents are increased.

  • John

    Used to be a “real” driver knew how to drive in ALL weather conditions. Now they are given autoshift transmissions because they don’t know how to shift; Given chains, but not instructed how to put them on; Park overnight on the shoulder of a busy 2 lane highway, 1/2 mile from their destination, so their computer won’t start the next morning; Basically get in, start it, put it in gear, and go. Don’t let go of that steering wheel til you get where you’re going. And if it breaks down, “let us know, and we’ll get someone out there as soon as we can”.

  • Vrahnos

    I have worked for some chicken s..t out fits that blame every thing on their drivers.Those kind of outfits are run by people who have never been in a semi in their lives.Then there are the outfits that have been built by truck driver that have years of experance on the road and know what’s up out there.I have found that those kind are the best ones to work for cause they truly understand the truckers life out on the road.

  • americantrucker

    For 431/2 years I have driven in all kinds of weather & never had an accident. That is until this year, 7 million miles of accident free driving and it took a 75 year old man trying to make a left hand turn from the shoulder of the interstate trying to make a U-Turn at night with no lights on. I avoided running over this person and swerving to the left and then back to the right. He hit me in the right fuel tank and then took out the front axle of the trailer. NO INJURIES at all in this accident. My point is that all the company wanted to know was ” Is the load okay & can you continue on with it ?”
    So much for the concern of the driver. I’m an O/O and since that accident I have had to invest over $16K TO GET MY TRUCK RIGHT. Companies don’t care about the drivers anymore. All they look at is the bottom line for their company.

  • Michelle

    That’s bull! This driver could have been killed, yet the idiot in safety is trashing his livelihood over a messed up bumper?!? I would be fighting that, whatever it took.

  • JOSEPH MORRIS

    iF YOU HAD SOMEONE ELSE DRIVING YOUR TRUCK, AND THE BILL WAS OVER $16,000 . WHAT PROOF WOULD YOU HAVE DEMANDED, OR WOULD YOU TAKE THE DRIVERS WORD

  • USMC 69-75

    I’d view the video from the dash cam that I require of all my O/Os, for their safety and my own!

  • flyotr.com

    Doe is a great driver ! I’m just glad he was alert at the time. He should be given an accommodation.

  • John Leite

    3 years ago I was on US 95 on the way back to Reno from Las Vegas, I was empty, I had just gone through Luning, NV. Speed limit 35mph for about 1 mile then back up to 70mph, just as I got to the north end of town I started accelerating back up to 70 which did not take long, 4 wheeler with a JB Hunt behind him and 3 other 4 wheelers behind him slowing into town when suddenly a little pick up truck pulls out from behind JB to pass, the only reason that idiot is still alive today is because I had somewhere to go without wrecking the truck, if I had not had somewhere to go and my truck was going to be wrecked anyway I might try to avoid the head on but I WILL take a piece off of the idiot, at least a glancing blow, otherwise I’d be getting asked, John, why did you drive your truck off the road?

  • Del Ray Johnson

    Ole timer I agree with you totally. I have followed you on other posts and surely you have seen my comments. So once again for all those who are DWI (“driving while incompetent”), l will add my 2 cents not only a dash cam every driver should have in this cab 2 disposal cameras they selling them in every truck stop for about $11. I keep them on the side of the door and if anything goes wrong guess who exits the truck IMMEDIATELY taking pictures of the skip marks, the state trooper, the trees, the forest, $16,000 of damage, etc, etc. And then I send a qualcom message 1 of 2 cameras is in the (certified) mail. After that I do not even respond to safety and they never contact me go figure!

  • USMC 69-75

    Agree whole heartily Del, I am my own safety dept, as well as all the rest of the fun stuff…..dispatcher, mechanic, driver, I wear many hats, but only make one check! LOL

  • Jim Kennedy

    The above picture/paragraphs were of a still picture. How many of us have seen an oncoming car/truck, etc heading right for the front of our vehicles? That being said, Safety Director was too fast to condemn his own driver but then again, how many Safety Officers have their CDLs? I would have steered clear myself since stopping would have brought the dump truck into my cab. Now, something not mentioned were the generalities, how fast was Doe going? Where are the pictures of the snow ruts … were they 1″, 2″, or 6″ or 1/16 of an inch? A better question is, why wasn’t all the information provided in this argumentative paragraph?

  • disqus_PA9pnuUAmw

    And they wonder why they can’t get drivers.

  • John M. Baxter

    Yep, we know about those safety directors! It’s good for them to constantly pressure drivers to operate more defensively, but, at times, they need to understand the concept of forgiveness. Great case history!

  • John M. Baxter

    Response to Tom T’s comment: And the tragedy is that they never see the larger picture. Nobody considers the possibility that simply treating the driver with respect all the time beats any other technique when it comes to retention!

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    Brother Doe could have prevented this only if he was at the house waiting on jesus to come back

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    I’ll give this an A men

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    and another A men to this comment as well

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    Speaking of “dash cam” have you seen or heard where Jesus is at and his e.t.a. on return to earth? Thanks TTT

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    I remember when disposable camera’s were $1.79

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    that’s a mind boggler fur me “@#$%X” I can’t figure out what it stands for, I’ve run all the dirty words thru my mind, sorry bout that…

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    Now this one “s..t” I understand, there is exactly 4 letter spots here lol

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    That’s what I’ve always hear’ed

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    I like that answer TTT Approved

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    I can’t swear to it but I pretty sure I have held my own in the past and the other driver seen that….

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    hear hear, I agree withchu, I’ve heard those seatbelts hold back like 2500 lbs of force, may have been more than that, someone correct me if I’m wrong.

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    maybe it was 25,000 lbs whatever the number was, I thought “WOW”

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    That reminds me of a story back in the 90’s USX was wanting me to continue down to Pittsburgh to get a load and I stopped just below Buffalo during a beautiful white out at the Plaza for the night, had to turn the beeper down on the qualcom though but slept very well and got a load the next day anyhow, as I traveled west the next day past my camping spot I seen many trucks parked in the comedian.

  • USMC 69-75

    TTT, not quite sure what your referring to…”dash cams” and Jesus? Yes I know Our Lord Jesus Christ, and he’s in thew hearts of those that believe in him. But what that has to do with dash cams, I’m confused?

  • Del Ray Johnson

    Here ole timer let me answer that question ? by TTT about Jesus and a dash cam: 2 Timothy 23! **Like I have said these guys need a corrupt union to represent and speak for them at all times.**

  • http://www.truckertwotimes.com/ Truckertwotimes

    Sorry to be so long getting back over here, I had to read down from the top to try and figure out what I was talking about myself, sometimes just the voices in my head cause me to write out things, I think I was probably feeling americantruckers’ pain and others that I had read before that, as well as thinking in my own woe’s wishing that our human role would have played out long enough for Jesus to call it a done deal, since having to come off the road, I’m just waiting on Jesus to come back, being on the road was all I ever really enjoyed doing. Regards, TTT

  • Jim Kennedy

    did he have a dash cam? without the video, its all hearsay.

  • Deborah L

    Husband was at USX in 2008. He took qualcomm and put it in plastic bag and hung it outside the window for the night, we were at Walmart DC in Johnstown, NY, snow then too. That thing never shutoff squawking, and was esp noisy if the truck wasn’t idling.

  • joseph morris

    I assume that you were both going in the same direction and he made the u-turn in front of you.If you went into the left lane you cut him off and he hit the right side of your vehicle. If you saw him on the side of the road andtried to pass him–same result. If you had slowed down to allow him to make his u-turn there may not have been an accident. I assume you had cargo insurance— why no truck insurance?

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