Do you stop and help?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Ridgeline, Sep 8, 2023.

  1. Lennythedriver

    Lennythedriver Road Train Member

    Feb 14, 2020
    Basically think if that’s your kid, your mom, your sister, your parents, or someone close to you in a dire situation and then ask yourself if you would just drive by. I stop all the time if it’s a new crash or something serious not yet attended to by emergency workers. There was a video a while back surrounding a trucker who burned alive in the seat of his truck because he couldn’t get out. The fire that burned him alive? Started out relatively small. But people didn’t try and start putting it out until it was too late.
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  3. Arctic_fox

    Arctic_fox Experienced mx13 execrator

    Sep 16, 2016
    Im likely going to come off as the ####### here. But it entirely depends on the situation. How bad is the fire? How many people are already there? Where will my truck be and how exposed if i do stop? Will there be a good/high risk my truck is going to get hit and cause bigger problems? Is the truck a tanker? Is it placarded? If so is it placarded flamable, toxic, radioactive, explosive ect? Is it in a place im physically capable of getting the driver away from? What if its a 500 pounder in the seat?

    As much as i want to say yes. In many cases the answer will be no. As someone else said i took H2S training in the oilfield as well as several other types of training for responding to fires and such. There are situations were just waiting for properly equiped help is better even if someone dies in between. Rushing into a situation may mean someone else is now recovering TWO corpses instead of one badly injured man. If a truck with an explosives placard is sitting on its side burning away happily. Well sorry im leaving right the #### now since it could go up any second or my trying to help could set it off. Is it a radioactive bucket that i can see a friendly blue glow from? No way in hell. Is it a truck full of cabages and there are kids under the burning truck? Well ill likely do everything in my power to help regardless of what happens.

    And this is before taking into consideration how lawsuit happy our country is nowadays. Lets say there is a lady in the truck thats burning and she has a broken arm. And my pulling her free takes a minor break into a full on compound fracture and gets her burned several times. Well she decides to sue due to my inexpert rescue attempt and now my trying to help could potentially bankrupt me. What happens if my pulling her free kills or maims her for life because i dont know how to save her or am not strong/knowledgeable to do so safely? Now her husband pushes charges against me and her lawyers use her kids as weapons. Congrats my life is now in ruins at best or im in jail at worst.

    As cold blooded as it is to say. I have family and friends that depend on me too. If my trying to save you is likely to fail, make things worse or kill me then the best i can do is call 911 set out flares and wait for help from someone who has the tools to help safely. Or to get as far away as i can and preserve my own skin and just call 911.

    Asking someone "would you help" is unfair as the answer is always going to be "it depends" regardless of how altruistic you want to be.
    Lav-25, Siinman, JolliRoger and 7 others Thank this.
  4. JoeyJunk

    JoeyJunk Road Train Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    Washington, PA
    Yes. But I also think of my family at home who wants me to return safe. An unfortunate emergency in someone else's life does not require injury or death to mine. I also wouldn’t expect someone to give their life for my family by responding to a situation they are not prepared for. It’s not their job.
  5. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    I also didn't stop when I was HazMat trucking. I did stop when I wasn't HazMat.

    When I was not hauling HazMat a Chevy Suburban pulling a dolly with another Suburban on the dolly passed me. The towed vehicle was starting to burn under the vehicle about where the transfer case would have been. I flashed my lights like crazy and honked my horn like mad and he slowed and pulled to the shoulder. I ran up to him and said "your towed vehicle is on fire you have to disconnect from your lead vehicle." He wanted to fight the fire first, but I knew it was an oil fire and 30 fire extinguishers from trucks were not going to stop that fire and if we didn't separate those Suburbans both would burn.

    It depends on the situation when I stop. Imagine you being in the distressed vehicle, stop if you can without making things worse.
  6. snowlauncher

    snowlauncher Road Train Member

    Mar 28, 2014
    Southeastern ID
    It would depend if I was able to look up from my phone long enough to even notice. I might take a video of it as I'm driving by and upload it to Tiktok...
  7. Stone Express

    Stone Express Medium Load Member

    Feb 26, 2013
    If one is pusillanimous, the best thing probably is to get home to the family. Leave the helping to others that don’t have any obligations.
  8. JoeyJunk

    JoeyJunk Road Train Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    Washington, PA
    More intelligent than timid. But by all means go attempt to be a hero.
  9. PaulMinternational

    PaulMinternational Heavy Load Member

    Aug 23, 2022
    That one I couldn’t even think about stopping for, I could not resist the urge I would have to simply snap his neck and let them assume it happend during the accident.
  10. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Here's a scenario for you. You're a brand new ambulance driver, just back from Viet Nam and the ambulance is the only work you can find. You have an RN but it doesn't count for much. You're only 21 years old .
    You're first on scene to a multi car pileup. A car is on fire with people trapped in it. ETA of other aid units, CHP or CalFire is twenty minutes.
    You and your partner start on the burning car and get everyone out...except the driver. He's tangled in the wreckage and there's no way to get him out. The car is now fully in flame. If you had a few minutes more you could amputate both legs and get him out but you don't have even that much time. You don't have an axe or a bone saw anyway. He's beginning to burn and he's screaming, struggling, yelling out prayers and cuss words and finally it's just screaming. He looks in your eyes and says "Don't let me burn to death, please don't let me burn that way". By now a couple of truck drivers have stopped but even with the three of you tearing metal with your bare hands, the man is still burning to death. Still screaming.
    What would you do?
    All you guys that wouldn't stop to help will never have to make that kind of decision. But you'd still wonder.
  11. jamespmack

    jamespmack Road Train Member

    Mar 25, 2014
    Rule of thumb, when your lost in a fire, if you find a hose line. You find a coupler. Male threads always lead into the fire, or nozzle, female threads lead the way out, or to engine. Ill say this for most of the geldings in this thread. Best know how to get yourself out of man's job. This is what's wrong with Trucking. Bunch of selfish pricks! I'd rather my daughter see me fall from my white horse than to see me be a chicken sheet. Why truckers are not the "Kings of the Road".

    Take it as you wish, I mean it way worse than I typed it.
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