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Rammed by a red-light runner — Could the trucker have prevented it?

| September 17, 2013
A four-wheel driver slammed into the right rear corner of John Doe’s trailer as it was crossing the roadway. Was this a preventable accident

A four-wheel driver slammed into the right rear corner of John Doe’s trailer as it was crossing the roadway. Was this a preventable accident?

Truck driver John Doe was in the northbound lane at a light waiting to turn his tractor-trailer across opposing traffic in the southbound lane to make a delivery at Pearl’s Pizza Palace. 

When an empty stretch opened, Doe seized his chance and began his turn. Meanwhile, way out in the southbound lane, a lead-footed driver in a baby blue Trans Am Formula 350 slammed the throttle, aiming to beat the “pink” light ahead. She shot through the intersection and suddenly was faced with the last couple feet of Doe’s tractor as he was turning. 

She misjudged the distance and her speed and crashed right into the corner of the trailer. No one was hurt, but when the police arrived, they cited Doe for failing to yield the right-of-way. Later, Doe was hit with a preventable accident warning letter from his carrier. 

Doe contested, and the National Safety Council Accident Review Committee ruled in his favor, saying there was nothing he could have done to anticipate or avoid the red light runner. 

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

  • guest

    If you have a CDL you cannot make any mistakes, and YOU are responsible for others mistakes…that’s how fair the fmcsa is with the trucking industry!! My truck was sitting on the interstate, the traffic had come to a complete stop. This pick up came barreling in, not paying attention, hit a car, knocked it to the side and then rammed his truck under my trailer!!!! The pick up was towed, the driver went to hospital, I GOT TWO POINTS!!!!!!! How fair is that??? And they won’t change it…so if we are responsible of every driver out there, then we might as well hang it up…

  • Mike Nickleback

    Are you referring to CSA points? Or MVR?

  • William Stanfield

    Anyone who drives into another vehicle thru carelessness or speed, should have their license revoked, and have to retest to get it back.

  • g

    Sure “when in doubt the TRUCKER is to Blame”. Join the Revolt here on Oct 11-13….its time for truckers to be heard..this crap has gone far enuff…facebook: Truckers To Shut Down America……2Million hits so far….

  • g

    These Anal cops think we have NO VOICE…this needs to change as we Proceed forward into this modern age of accountability…..sure thats Great…and the Future….BUT we need representation… many Laws are being saddled onto the backs of truckers..but No Legal Representation??? Unconstitutional isnt it?? Slavelike??? Hitler revisited???
    Oct 11 Truckers To Shut Down America…..Washington needs this Fight with US.

  • Go Truckers

    Probably MVR…..2 points aint much on CSA .

  • mousekiller

    Driving into another vehicle is not always the offending persons fault.
    I have seen drivers try to avoid being hit with out accomplishing it.
    too many drivers of all vehicles with little or no driving skills or a
    willingness to pause a second or two. there is always the idiot that
    punches it to get a ahead of that nasty truck and fail to do so. Not
    unlike the idiot that passes, cuts in , hits the brakes and turns off at
    the exit clipping the bumper blaming the trucker. Unless we stand
    together and stay in touch with our elected officials and let them know
    how some laws and regulations effect us, pro or con this lop sided
    law enforcement will continue.
    I have had a woman drive up on the sidewalk to avoid stopping as I was backing into a dock.
    She got pushed into the dock. . She lost her license and her husband applauded that action. I was not charged nor ticketed. But that was back in the 70’s when we were not the LEO’s revenue enhancement tool.

  • Matt

    I get tired of this preventable and non preventable BS. Technically EVERYTHING is preventable ( IF) the biggest little word in the English language SOMETHING WAS DONE DIFFERENTLY.Maybe next we need to become mind readers and seers into the future. Will that become part of the job description or is it already? But we are not robots we are humans. It is understandable to place blame when a someone does something that lacks common sense. But mistakes happen by all of us. As they say Shit happens. Its life get over it. Place blame where it is the truck had the right of way as the door cleared the intersection if the idiot that hit him was paying attention it wouldn’t of happened. Place blame where it should be placed instead of always on the trucker. Stupid is as Stupid does. Make these idiots in the other vehicles responsible for their own stupidity instead of passing the buck

  • Robert D.

    Same dang thing happened to me once. But it was a green light all the way thru I got hit in the dot bumper of the trailer after I had cleared the Intersection, you see I slowed down a tad due to the incline I was proceeding to climb up and this caused the other driver to miss correct is course and of course he was speeding as well, as he was a 1/2 mile away when I started making the turn, the cops said no citation to either of us, but said I was supposed to yield to the invisible driver….. yeah right!!!! Same result for me as for the above driver slapped with a preventable. as well… say la vie. Lesson learned was even if you aren’t feeling well as I was that day ( heat cramps) you’ve got to speak up and state your case and stay keep your cool, and if you know your not at fault act like it, it really helps out when the badges come out…..

  • john

    You better check that. Those nasty CSA points add up fast. Do you know missing that 30 minute break is more points than a DUI? 7 & 4! FMCSA’s finest brains at work there.

  • DonM

    The only way the driver could have prevented this accident is to have had the ability to prevent the driver of the car from acting like an idiot. They had to see the forward 7/8’s of the truck and trailer making a left, unless of course they were busy sending or reading a text message.

  • DonM

    Driving careers getting tarnished by armchair quarterbacks are contributing to the driver shortage.

  • MCA Road Assistance

    That’s crazy! Failing to give the right away? It was clear for him to go, should oncoming traffic be miles away before you can turn. BTW, the other driver was speeding and had full view of the trailer. I am happy the judge thru it out!

  • g

    No kidding…typical ANUS in the safety dept would issue such a stupid letter..blaming the driver….the safety idiot should be terminated. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.