Impatient driver attempts to cut off rig's right turn: Was the accident preventable?

Updated Nov 29, 2023

In this latest installment of Overdrive sister fleet publication CCJ's "Preventable or not?" series of accident-scenario videos, trucker John Doe is blindsided after an impatient four-wheeler attempts to bypass Doe's rig as it's turning right -- by sneaking around Doe's right side when the light they were both stopped at turned green. 

Bet you can well guess what happened next: The four-wheeler didn't make it and slammed into the trailer's right side. 

Asked to review the accident to determine whether it was preventable or not for Doe, the National Safety Council came down on ... can you guess which side? Watch the video to find out. 

A non-preventable judgement in this day and age can go a long way toward improvement of a carrier's CSA Safety Measurement System scores -- a specific set of crash types are currently available for review, and carriers should use the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's DataQs portal to request a preventability review and excluded any nonpreventable qualifying crashes from the scores. 

[Related: Preventable, or not: How to DataQ for FMCSA's crash review program]


Truck driver John Doe was headed west on Route 1 with a fully laden trailer in tow.

He stopped at a red light, preparing to make a right turn onto Pooca Parkway, with his right turn signals flashing.

When the traffic light turned green, Doe carefully scanned his mirrors before starting the turn. 

Hidden from his view was a purple Lincoln Town Car directly behind John’s trailer, whose driver also intended to turn right.

Not wanting to get stuck behind Doe’s slow-moving rig for a long stretch of unpassable two-lane highway, the driver of the Town Car decided he would try to cut across the grassy corner of the intersection in an attempt to head off Doe’s tractor before he could complete his turn.

But the Town Car didn’t make it and slammed into the side of Doe’s trailer.

No way Doe could have seen the car coming, so he argued the preventable accident warning letter he received from the company safety director. 

Asked to settle the issue, the National Safety Council’s Accident Review Committee sided with Doe, noting there was nothing he could have done to avoid being blindsided.