Intermodal hauler’s rig flipped by wind — Could trucker have prevented it?

| December 26, 2013

Preventable0212windgust-500x446After satisfying his 30-minute break requirement about mid-morning, truck driver John Doe pulled out of a California truck stop and onto a four-lane limited-access highway towing an intermodal container. 

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The gusty crosswinds — typical in this part of Doe’s run — were a nuisance. Suddenly, however, the gusts became increasingly violent, so Doe slowed down to 30 mph and pulled into the right lane. Doe had no opportunity to seek shelter off of the road, and he was traveling well under the posted 55 mph limit. 

Suddenly, a 70-mph gust hit Doe’s container and violently forced it on its side. 

What’s more, Doe got a preventable accident warning from his carrier. He contested, and the National Safety Council’s Accident Review Committee was asked to render the final judgment.

It ruled in Doe’s favor, saying he’d taken all reasonable precautions, and even a dead stop would have been no good. 

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

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  • Rayzer

    Ya know, I think most of the preventable verdicts come not from the carrier, but from the insurance companies. It’s just hard to believe that so many carriers would issue preventable verdicts in a lot of these cases.

  • Roger Farmer

    good
    as He is not “God and had no way of avoiding it

  • Ken Nilsen

    Based strictly on the limited information provided, it is not preventable. I would also want to know was there an alternate route based on weather forecasts. I run empty roughly 50 percent of the year and there are times that I will not use overpasses and look for lower bridges to cross or adjust my route to not run high lines. Sometimes I just park it and wait for the winds to die down.

  • Tom AndSheila Hurd

    ALL!! accidents are avoidable and preventable, just stay home and let someone else drive the truck and you will not be cited with any accidents

  • 365Trucking

    Turn left

  • ldmff

    I don’t know how anyone can call this a preventable incident, wind is so unpredictable you come to a complete stop and it will take you over anyway. Its nearly impossible to find a windbreak in some parts of the country, there is no warning when you are going to get blasted with a gust of wind like this. Every now and then in Wyoming empty coal cars are knocked off the tracks and those cars weigh 35-40 tons empty.

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