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

Updated Dec 27, 2013

After 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. 

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

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