Well It Finally Happened...

Topic 20972 | Page 1

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Soulbrutha 's Comment
member avatar

As a driver in this industry I am well aware that Murphy can and will show his might at times. Here we go. Exiting a shipper in Jackson Tenn. today, I made a bonehead mistake that I hope everyone reads and learns from. To get back to I 40 from this shipper, you have to cross the median (legal at this area) and head back west to the interstate. The median is on a small section of divided four lane. Done it here many times before, no problems right?

WRONG! BEND OVER HERE IT COMES.

The problem with this scenario is this crossing is at the base of a decent but smaller hill and is the only place to turn around for 24 miles of skinny road. I am doing my thing, signaling, and slowing down in preparation to change to the left lane and position myself to cross the median. Check my mirrors twice and start over to the left lane. As I was looking over for a third time WHAM! A TRI axle dump truck takes half of my deer guard and re-aims it straight forward for me. He also took out my headlight bezel, my hood mounted mirror and skinned up my bumper and fender.

Trooper shows up I tell him what happened and vice versa with the other driver. Fast forward. Other driver is released. Trooper comes back to talk to me. I was issued a citation for due care which I completely agree with. Here is the issue though. I never saw the guy in my mirrors. That means only one thing.. He was behind me coming down the hill at a high rate of speed. The trooper off the record confirmed this after looking at the vehicles and my very heavy metal deer guard. The other driver crested the hill, saw me and instead of rear ending me, swerved and passed me in my blind spot. Trooper again off the record says that if I show up at court the citation will be dismissed. He knew exactly what happened but could not prove it.

Now for my questions. If the citation is dismissed do I still get csa points? I am sure that this goes on dac , but, are there any areas to mitigate what happened? Finally since this is the first accident I have ever had , non injury and relatively minor damage other than my shorts and ego, what is the dot classification? Humbly, Soulbrutha

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Sorry to hear about that Soulbrutha. That's a bummer, but at least it wasn't worse.

I think the key is to fight the citation with an attorney. No question there. Try to get that dismissed or reduced.

Yes, this will show up on your CSA score. If your company reports to DAC it will also show up there, but that is at your company's discretion.

I don't know what the DOT classification would be for this.

I'm sure as you think over this scenario you'll figure out things you could have done to avoid this. I'd love to say that it's the dump truck driver's fault, but it wasn't, unfortunately. For one, he didn't pass you in your blind spot. You can see down the entire length of your trailer. He was there, but you turned into him because you weren't looking in the mirror when you started to make the turn.

One thing you can do is steer the tractor very gently to the left and the right so you can see what's behind your trailer a little better before making any moves. You don't even have to leave your lane. For instance, steer toward the right hand side of your lane and then steer back to the left hand side of the lane. For a brief moment you'll have a better view in your driver's mirror of what's directly behind you.

Also, anytime you're making a lane change or leaving your lane you should keep your eye on that mirror as much as possible during the entire maneuver. There is a risk of someone coming up beside you from the time you start the maneuver until you've completed it.

This is a bummer, but thankfully it wasn't any worse than it was. Ironically it might have been worse if the dump truck driver was going slower, giving you more time to turn further into him. He could have T-boned your tractor. Thank God that didn't happen.

You live and you learn out there. I know you'll be thinking this over for a long time and you'll be learning new ideas from it every time you think about it.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Soulbrutha 's Comment
member avatar

Thank you for your answers. I completely agree with them. You are right about my not looking before moving over. Complacency killed the cat on this day for sure. The lesson to all is never let your guard down period. Thinking about it, I agree that had he not been speeding, it would have been worse. That's how fast it happened. I clipped the corner of the dump bed and his mudflap. I will keep you posted on the court verdict. Thanks Brett. Soulbrutha

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
The lesson to all is never let your guard down period.

Amen to that right there. The longer you're out there the more totally unexpected things you're going to see. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that there's no such thing as a safe situation on the highway. You never know when a steer tire might blow and send you out of control. There is also a long list of sinkholes that have opened up directly in the middle of an Interstate , and bridges that have collapsed without warning.

In fact, all of the worst accidents I've ever witnessed over the years, the really bad ones, all happened on beautiful sunny days in light traffic. Conditions anyone would consider almost perfect.

This was a great lesson for you for sure. You're going to be a much safer and more aware driver because of it, no doubt about it.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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