Trailer flips in gusty wind: Preventable or not?

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The Preventable or Not scenario and video presented below are borrowed from Overdrive sister publication CCJ‘s Preventable or Not series.

SCENARIO: John Doe was northbound on a windy California limited-access four-lane highway with an empty intermodal container. When Doe noticed a dramatic increase in the crosswinds, he pulled his rig to the right lane and slowed to 30 mph from the posted speed limit of 55 mph.

A 70-mph gust broadsided Doe’s container, flipping it violently on its side. His carrier issued a preventable accident warning, which Doe contested.

Who was in the right?

ANSWER: The National Safety Council’s Accident Review Committee ruled in Doe’s favor, saying he’d taken every reasonable precaution. Even a dead stop wouldn’t have helped prevent the accident, NSC said.

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