Tanker Driver Dies Swerving To Avoid Hurting Motorists

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news and ruin this driver's hero status but if you'll look at the video closely you'll see he was following way too closely to the traffic in front of him, especially considering the cargo he was hauling. When everyone hit the brakes he had two choices - he was either going to run over the top of everyone or do what he did - panic and cut the wheel hard to the right. But without the proper following distance there was no winning for him in that situation.

I'm glad he didn't compound his mistake by running over everyone in front of him and killing a bunch of people. But let's face it.......he didn't save any lives. He simply didn't allow his mistake to kill anyone else. He was tailgating people with 40,000+ pounds of highly flammable liquids. It was an inexcusable position to be in.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

This is not meant to be a snarky question, but as a (hopefully) future driver I think it bears asking.

I see trucks running REALLY slow when traffic is bound up for one reason or another. (In the DC metro area I don't think there is ever a time most roads are not congested.) They seem (to me) to be leaving a lot of distance between them and the vehicles in front of them, but it never fails that 4 or 5 cars will switch lanes into the "space" in front of the truck. I would assume that would mean a constant readjusting of your speed to keep that distance? Is there a point where you're driving so slow that your engine bottoms out and stalls? It seems to be a difficult position to be in, having to keep so much space but having people constant encroaching on that space.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

*Addendum* I was considering doing tanker after getting my one year of exerience at Prime. I think I'll skip that.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

This is not meant to be a snarky question, but as a (hopefully) future driver I think it bears asking.

I see trucks running REALLY slow when traffic is bound up for one reason or another. (In the DC metro area I don't think there is ever a time most roads are not congested.) They seem (to me) to be leaving a lot of distance between them and the vehicles in front of them, but it never fails that 4 or 5 cars will switch lanes into the "space" in front of the truck. I would assume that would mean a constant readjusting of your speed to keep that distance? Is there a point where you're driving so slow that your engine bottoms out and stalls? It seems to be a difficult position to be in, having to keep so much space but having people constant encroaching on that space.

Traffic is a way of life in the Northeast. Yes, you should be constantly adjusting. As long as you properly downshift to match the speed and maintain a safe distance, the truck will not stall. I can creep along in second or third with no problem at all.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I hate to be the bearer of bad news and ruin this driver's hero status but if you'll look at the video closely you'll see he was following way too closely to the traffic in front of him, especially considering the cargo he was hauling. When everyone hit the brakes he had two choices - he was either going to run over the top of everyone or do what he did - panic and cut the wheel hard to the right. But without the proper following distance there was no winning for him in that situation.

I'm glad he didn't compound his mistake by running over everyone in front of him and killing a bunch of people. But let's face it.......he didn't save any lives. He simply didn't allow his mistake to kill anyone else. He was tailgating people with 40,000+ pounds of highly flammable liquids. It was an inexcusable position to be in.

Unfortunately I see this everyday in the northeast, chronic tailgating at speed, in traffic. Really dicey.

Whenever I see a truck accident I always try to understand the cause(s) so that I am able to learn from it and try to stay out of situations and/or make the right corrections. I saw the video of this multiple times and came to a similar conclusion. Driving in North Jersey congestion requires a very strong stomach and constant vigilance. I have posted before that driving a loaded semi leaves very little margin for error. This crash is a terrible reminder of that fact.

Very sad, tragic the driver paid the ultimate price for a correctable mistake. RIP.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I would assume that would mean a constant readjusting of your speed to keep that distance? It seems to be a difficult position to be in, having to keep so much space but having people constant encroaching on that space.

Indeed it does mean you have to keep adjusting your speed and distance to maintain a safe following distance. If someone cuts in front of you and infringes upon that following distance then you back it down a little more to get that space back.

The only difficult part about it is having the patience to maintain a safe following distance. When you get impatient in a big rig, people die. You have to have the discipline to do everything the safest way possible.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pastor C.'s Comment
member avatar

I do no think I will choose tanker now, I never considered the weight ratio of splashing liquid. Is driving the western half of the US "better" than the east coast. I live in Ohio and traffic is not bad, but I know from experience most of the east coast is horrible in a four wheeler let alone a semi

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I do no think I will choose tanker now, I never considered the weight ratio of splashing liquid. Is driving the western half of the US "better" than the east coast. I live in Ohio and traffic is not bad, but I know from experience most of the east coast is horrible in a four wheeler let alone a semi

It's been said by many that if you can drive in the northeastern part of the US, you can drive anywhere. Since I live in the northeast, I have grown accustom to it. There are many urban centers where heavy congestion is part of the job; Miami, LA, Atlanta, DC, Chicago...many others.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

This is not meant to be a snarky question, but as a (hopefully) future driver I think it bears asking.

I see trucks running REALLY slow when traffic is bound up for one reason or another. (In the DC metro area I don't think there is ever a time most roads are not congested.) They seem (to me) to be leaving a lot of distance between them and the vehicles in front of them, but it never fails that 4 or 5 cars will switch lanes into the "space" in front of the truck. I would assume that would mean a constant readjusting of your speed to keep that distance? Is there a point where you're driving so slow that your engine bottoms out and stalls? It seems to be a difficult position to be in, having to keep so much space but having people constant encroaching on that space.

It's actually easier to just keep your truck in gear and roll slowly than it is to do the ol' stop-and-go that 4-wheelers do. Think of stopping and starting up to 80,000 pounds. Yes, the cars getting in front of you is the price you pay to go slow, but, think hard: just how much time do you lose for this? Not much at all.

So, in heavy traffic, leave that large space in front of you. BTW, you will find that 1st gear in a truck is slower than you walk. Anything slower, you use the clutch, and still roll along.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Is driving the western half of the US "better" than the east coast

It's very hard to compare West Coast to East Coast driving because they both encompass everything from high mountains to tight cities to terrible snowstorms. But we can generalize a bit........

Overall the traffic is heavier on the East Coast because the population is more dense.

The mountains out West have higher elevations but the mountains in the East tend to be just as steep (or more) and have more curves. People get caught up in the elevation numbers and like to say the mountains are more difficult to navigate out West, but that's not necessarily true.

Parking is much easier to find out West.

The biggest difference I see is in the cities themselves. The cities in the East are far older than those out West. The cities out West are more modern and were built to handle larger vehicles. They tend to have wider roads, better traffic flow, and they're far easier to navigate. Getting into the docks on the East coast requires you to be a virtual superhero when it comes to backing. Out West it tends to be considerably easier.

Overall I think it's easier to run the West Coast than it is the East. But there's nothing easy about negotiating the Rockies or traffic in Los Angeles or Seattle.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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