Truckers crash on ice to avoid moose. Was this accident preventable?

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Updated May 14, 2021

Truck driver John Doe was traveling northbound on a desolate, pitch-black and heavily wooded stretch of two-lane highway in Saskatchewan, Canada.

A persistent but gentle rain had dampened the blacktop for the last 50 miles. Now, at 3 a.m., it was a near-freezing drizzle.

The road had previously been salted and did not seem to be slippery. Even so, John Doe lightly backed off the throttle and cautiously piloted his tractor and double trailers.

Suddenly, the headlights of an oncoming straight truck cut through the night. Doe dimmed his high beams and a large moose suddenly appeared in the center of his lane.

Doe attempted an avoidance maneuver, without anti-lock brakes, and panicked when he realized he was on black ice.

The truck and lead trailer slid across the opposing lane of traffic and entered a ditch. The rear trailer was left straddling the southbound lane. Meanwhile, an equally out-of-control straight truck clipped Doe’s stationary trailer before plowing into a ditch along the northbound lane.

Was this accident preventable or not?

The National Safety Council ruled the accident was preventable. While the moose was surely to blame, it was also obvious that Doe had been traveling too fast for conditions.

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