Common causes of semi accidents?

Discussion in 'Trucking Accidents' started by shannon, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. shannon

    shannon Bobtail Member

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    Apr 24, 2007
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    I'll be getting my class A pretty soon and heading out on the road so I want to ask experienced drivers what the most common mistakes are that newbies make that lead to accidents. Maybe the trainers out there can answer this one.
     
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  3. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Medium Load Member

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    Jun 11, 2006
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    I think the biggest mistake is getting too comfortable, too soon, and forgetting that you still have alot to learn. That and the fear to say no.

    A couple months out on the road and you think you got it down pretty good. You start taking the curves and exit ramps a little faster, setting up to back into a dock faster (because that is what the cool truckers do), and overall you just begin to lose focus on the little things that keep you from having accidents. It's just like a teenager getting their drivers license. In no time, they feel like they have it all under control, and that is when they have a wreck.

    On my second point (fear of saying no) - You take whatever load you are given, regardless how fatigued you may be because you don't want to be on the dispatcher's bad side, or want it to look in any way like you can't do your job.

    A few tips:
    • Possibly the most important - Always assume that a 4 wheeler is going to get in your safe space, slam on their brakes in front of you, cut in front of you to make a turn, and pull out in front of you because they cant stand to be behind a truck. Stay prepared for this kind of stupidity and you will be much safer.
    • Stay off the CB in heavy traffic
    • Always have your directions to a shipper or receiver, that way you are not on the CB or cell phone in the city trying to find your way to somewhere.
    • Never be worried about going "too slow". There is nothing "cool" about taking an exit ramp or a curve fast. If that driver behind you is giving you a hard time about it, ignore the jerk.
    • Don't accept a load that you cannot safely deliver on time. If you think you might not be able to do it without jeapordizing safety, note it in your message to dispatch (via the qualcomm). Never be put under pressure to "push yourself" too hard.
    • Just because you have hours to run, doesn't mean you have to run them. If you are fatigued, or sick an unable to safely run, don't run. Nobody can make you.
    • Never get rushed when backing into a dock. Those drivers waiting on you can wait. As soon as you get frustrated and get in a hurry, that is when you take the mirror off of another truck.
     
  4. shannon

    shannon Bobtail Member

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    Apr 24, 2007
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    Thanks for your answer. I won't forget these things.
     
  5. heyns57

    heyns57 Road Train Member

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    near Kalamazoo Speedway
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    The truck driver most likely to have an accident has eight years of experience, and overconfidence. I read that somewhere.

    I saved a clipping from a magazine years ago. Dart's Mr. McLaughlin was interviewed about the types of accidents that he holds Dart drivers strictly accountable for. They are: rear end, lane change and run under. These accidents have three things in common: frequency, severity and preventability. Dart drivers are taught to recognize key conditions which contribute to accidents: loss of traction, lack of visibility, defective equipment, fatigue and inattention. Dart contractors are encouraged not to drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
     
  6. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Medium Load Member

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    That is a rule I always tried to follow myself, although I took it even a step further and tried to not drive beyond 10:00 p.m. if at all possible. Didn't always work out that way, but I made every effort possible to be done by then.

    Too many bad things can happen at night due to other sleepy drivers (trucks and 4 wheelers), not to mention drunk drivers being on the road during these times.
     
  7. BEAR54

    BEAR54 Bobtail Member

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    Sep 7, 2006
    NASHVILLE TN
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    Theres Only 1 Answer When Backing To Be Safe
    G.o.a.l.
    Get Out And Look
     
  8. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Medium Load Member

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    True. No matter how "un-cool" it seems, no matter how hard it is rainin/snowing, or how hot it is outside, don't assume anything, get out and take a look for yourself.
     
  9. earthbrown

    earthbrown Medium Load Member

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    May 27, 2006
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    watch your city right hand turns.

    many from my orientation hit poles on right handers.....

    K
     
  10. madcitysw

    madcitysw Light Load Member

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    Oct 19, 2005
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    So you want some info from experienced drivers? My biggest mistake that took my job away from me was getting too comfortable and going too fast for the enter ramp. All it takes is one time and you end your career and mine only lasted 1 year and 5 months. Don't ever take a load that you feel that it is unsafe. Make sure you are really 10 - 15 mph slower then what is posted before you enter your curves because it will trick you. You better watch your mirrors alot because it saved me from having alot of other accidents that could had happen and there alot of people out there that will try passing you when you are turning. Who knows, maybe I can drive again next year after three years of no accidents.
     
  11. Cerberus101

    Cerberus101 Heavy Load Member

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    yes you will. sad honest fact but it's true....
     
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