Operator tops hill, slams jackknifed flatbedder — Could he have prevented it?

Pg108_PreventableOrNotDrawingTruck driver John Doe was making his way through a bad spring snow storm on an empty four-lane highway, hauling a big load of parkas. 

The posted speed limit was 65, but the conditions had Doe traveling at just 35 mph, but behind him a flatbed driver coming up fast. 

The flatbedder then zipped past Doe in the left lane disappeared into the storm ahead. Shortly after, the snow eased some and visibility improved, so Doe took his speed up to 55. 

Doe then topped a hill and proceeded down a long, moderately graded decline that curved to the right. 

Suddenly, halfway down, there was the flatbed that had passed him jackknifed and stretching across the entirety of the highway. The road was glazed with ice, and Doe could hardly slow his rig down, but he was able to steer toward the rear of the flatbed trailer.

He struck the trailer, pushing it aside, then slid to a stop. 

Shortly thereafter, he received a preventable-accident letter from his safety director. The National Safety Council Accident Review Committee made the final judgment in the case, ruling against Doe. The committee ruled Doe was blindly driving down the hill and was going faster than what the conditions warranted.

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