Preventable Accidents...

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by m3877, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. m3877

    m3877 Bobtail Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Jacksonville, FL
    Anyone here have any suggestions to help deal with a crash you caused? I caused one today and don't really know how to handle it after the other driver was taken to the hospital, the police reports are done and the other driver's van towed away. The other driver will be okay, from what I understand a broken wrist and some bruises, but I can't help but think of the what-ifs. All I keep picturing is the van spinning in my mirror and I'm close to the point of walking away from driving altogether, wether my company fires me or not. Any help, here?

    To sum up the crash as short as possible. I was on a side street on the phone trying to get directions to the shipper and wasn't paying enough attention to see the stop sign I ran. The driver of the van slammed into my front trailer axle hard enough that she spun in the street. I know what I did wrong and what I should have done instead so please no guilt trips. I'm drowning in that already.
  2. Tip

    Tip Tipster

    Mar 18, 2006
    Sounds like you're done, as far as trucking goes, so you don't have to worry about whether to stay in or not. That decision will be made soon enough for you.

    Your DAC is about to get nuked, and your CDL will have some serious points set against it. About the only company that will hire you now is some fly-by-night reefer outfit that regularly visits places like Hunt's Point Market with loads that were picked up two days earlier in San Diego. You'll have a nice fast truck while driving for these companies, but that is because these outfits will want you to drive it wide open no matter where you are. Yeah, four or five day round trips from southern Cally or Arizona to NYC or Philly and back will become your life if you stay in trucking. And oh yeah--you'll be paid in the teens per mile at the next job you'll get. Your pay might be even as low as 12 cpm.

    Shoulda been paying attention while moving along in a vehicle that weighs probably 15 times more than that van.

    Look on the bright side--you'll probably have plenty of chrome on your next rig, albeit the stacks'll be blued from the high temps of all the high-speed driving the last guy driving it had to do.
    TwinStickPeterbilt Thanks this.
  3. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

    Oct 23, 2005
    I think your career will depend on your past record and your company. But accidents happen. I don't care who you are we've ALL made mistakes some worse than others. Don't what if it. Learn from it. Learn that driving a truck takes your attention all the time. Don't try to cover anything up with your company and hope for the best. I know my company would look at your record and your skills and determine if the accident was bad enough to warrent your dismissal. I do think that you can still drive no matter what happens. You may not get the greatest job around but you'd just have to build your career all over again. Just go on and learn.
  4. CaptCaveman

    CaptCaveman <strong>"Positive Pessimist"</strong>

    Aug 4, 2007
    Amarillo Tx
    How bad it will be depends on your company but Tips right, your pretty much used up. What the hell were you thinking, if you've been driving any time at all you've already seen these fools with phones in their ears and their heads up their butts playing demolition derby on the roads. Did you think you were special? Different? Your ###### lucky you didn't kill someone. ANY TIME you have to call someone pull off to the side of the road, set your hazards and make your call. When your moving the only thing you should be concentrating on is driving. Now excuse me while I go outside and throw a screaming sh&#37;# fit over your stupidity. :smt068
  5. BobC

    BobC Medium Load Member

    Jul 8, 2007
    Cincinnati, slOhio
    Now hang on a minute.

    If she hit your front trailer axle, you must have been way out in the cross road. You couldn't have been going that fast on a side street to get out in front of her that far & that quickly to surprise her.

    UNless she was speeding pretty good, she had to have enough time to see you coming out & hit the brakes...unless she wasn't paying attention too.

    I wouldn't be so ready to take the whole rap on something like this right away.

    I mean it does take a few seconds at least to move that much trailer into a cross street so you can be hit in the front trailer axle.

    What was the speed limit on the cross street you accidently entered?

    How fast were you going on that side street?

    Did anyone think to remove her tailight bulbs to see how fast she was going when she hit you? You do know that a forensics lab can easily determine the speed on impact just by looking at how the bulbs filaments bent during the hit.

    Maybe you did stop & she just wasn't paying attention to her driving.

    Did she have a stop sign as well?

    Too many questions need answered before I'd agree to take that rap.

    I hope you didn't fess up to any cops there.
    Bet you did, didn't you?

    To spin out that easily means someone was speeding pretty good.
  6. m3877

    m3877 Bobtail Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Jacksonville, FL
    I was doing about 20 mph in a 25 mph speed limit zone and pulling a 48' spread axle flatbed when the crash happened. The only citatation issued was for failure to yield right of way. Nothing was fessed up to. Until today I hadnt received any moving violations in a semi, or my pov since getting my CDL. I did just just recently start with this company, though.

    I know that I could have killed this woman today. Hence the what-ifs I mentioned. I guess I didn't make it clear that when I said get past the crash, I did not mean professionally. I mean mentally. So as to keep the lesson learned, but not be overly cautious. To not dwell on it and go on.
  7. wallbanger

    wallbanger "Enemy of showers everywhere"

    Getting past the accident, at least mentally, will be the hardest part. And, unfortunately, that is going to depend upon you entirely. My advice is to take a little time off, just to give yourself a little distance from the accident. And gasHauler is right, don't what if , you'll just drive yourself nuts and never get back in the seat.

    And, as for your career, odds are that you will still be driving, especially if your record was clean (up to the accident) like you said. You just may be doing it for another company. But just remember to learn from it- you have already identified the mistakes you made, so odds are you won't do them again. And that's a start.

    Most importantly, remember, accidents happen, and while you DID run the stop sign, if the lady hit you in your TRAILER, then she wasn't paying attention either.
  8. dkpat

    dkpat Bobtail Member

    Oct 21, 2013
    Abilene, Tx
    What about preventables? I haven't had any accidents but two stupid preventables while in training. How do you get someone to hire you? Are actual accidents worse than running over curb?
  9. pattyj

    pattyj Road Train Member

    Jul 19, 2008
    Sioux City,ia
    It's just that,an accident that could have easily been prevented as the company sees it.Sometimes running over a curb is unavoidable.You just have to go nice and slow.During my test for my CDL I deliberately ran over or rather rode a curb to avoid cars while maneuvering around.Which is exactly what the tester wanted me to do.
  10. TwinStickPeterbilt

    TwinStickPeterbilt Heavy Load Member

    Mar 16, 2013
    Henderson, KY
    I remember on my CDL test the guy told me to turn right and in the middle of the turn stop and throw on my hazards. I was right up against the white line and about an inch from the curb. I got lucky every other time I go around that corner I'm way over in the other lane...
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