Low Clearance

Topic 16347 | Page 2

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Chris (the chick)'s Comment
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Reminds me of when I was arriving at the George Washington Bridge toll plaza during rush hour. A trailer was wedged underneath to the side of me... Obviously didn't help the plaza traffic one bit LOL Believe I took a photo, no idea where it is, but I remember wondering how the heck while staring at it. Now I'm going to try find this pic, hmm.

The fact that clearances are not 100% dependable measurements (outdated, snow, etc) is scary, but if the clearances are already clearly marked as inadequate, then that's just driver negligence!

Farmerbob1's Comment
member avatar

Forgive my ignorance, but in the first picture I can almost understand. He had a mid roof and it went under without hitting. The Swift guy makes no sense. He/She had a full cab. At what point when his/her cab hit, did it not dawn on him/her to hit his/her brakes? How in the heck to you squish half your trailer AFTER the roof of your cab hits?

I don't get it. I guess that is why Claymore mines have "This side towards enemy" written on them. For those special people.

I'm NOT defending that the driver hit the bridge, but I want to make sure that you understand you are not fully appreciating reaction time and stopping distances.

Let's reconstruct, assuming the driver completely missed signs.

Assume the driver is going 25 miles per hour. A relatively normal in-town speed limit.

The day cab hits the bridge.

The driver has normal reaction times. He reacts one second after hitting the bridge by slamming on the brakes.

One second after he presses the brake pedal, the air brakes actually begin to work.

Two seconds have passed since the truck hit the bridge.

25 miles per hour is about 36 feet per second

The truck would have travelled 72 feet (the entire length of the truck) before the truck could even begin to start braking.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
LDRSHIP's Comment
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I can appreciate the delay in braking, but..... Idk. It is still hard for me to fathom doing that. I guess once I am out on the road it will make sense how someone could accomplish it.

G-Town's Comment
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I can appreciate the delay in braking, but..... Idk. It is still hard for me to fathom doing that. I guess once I am out on the road it will make sense how someone could accomplish it.

Same here.

How many bridge height warning signs did the driver see and ignore? Usually there is ample warning enabling us to avoid low overpasses.

Checked-out, fatigued, and/or not paying attention seem to be the obvious explanation (s). It's a preventable accident that carries very little leniency with trucking companies and is typically a fire able offense.

LDRSHIP's Comment
member avatar

The way I am looking at it is trucking is not far off from my background in aviation. If an accident happens due to gross negligence, likely someone is going to die. I am sure if you get fatigued to the point of feeling unsafe, no one is going to jump up and down if you pull over and say you need to rest because you are too tired.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

I think it is i70 that posts clearance signs then you drive for like a mile before anything even remotely could be related to the sign. No low lines or anything.

The ones that freaked me out at first were the "low clearance 13ft" in an intersection then had a tiny arrow pointing the other direction.

Kevin H.'s Comment
member avatar

My theory is that, at least some of the time, drivers' brains fall back to 'car mode' if they don't pay attention. I think this also explains side-swiping stuff on turns.

Anyway, yeah, i hate it when i see a sign and it says Clearance 12' 6", and i get that moment of panick before i see 'On Route 4A South' under it.

Farmerbob1's Comment
member avatar

I can appreciate the delay in braking, but..... Idk. It is still hard for me to fathom doing that. I guess once I am out on the road it will make sense how someone could accomplish it.

I'm not justifying the bridge hit, just making clear that if the driver isn't looking forward at least a couple hundred feet, they aren't going to be able to stop, even at 25 MPH. Once the daycab hit, there was absolutely nothing that driver could have done.

If you have experience in aviation, which I think you mention below, then I suspect you can compare truck driving to runway landing approaches. Once you get to a certain point, if you miss something, there's nothing you can do other than make seat brownies and hope you survive.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

"Driver looking a couple hundred feet ahead"

That's the point. In his job you have to look as far ahead as possible in all directions. The moron who will cross lanes the dog being chased by unsupervised kids...You have to watch for the drunk weaving behind you...trees that are too low...

Hell...you even have to watch for suicidal people jumping from the bridges. One mistake is deadly. If all that happened with this the truck got damaged then this driver got off lucky. His inattention could have cost lives

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Rainy wrote:

"Driver looking a couple hundred feet ahead"

That's the point. In his job you have to look as far ahead as possible in all directions. The moron who will cross lanes the dog being chased by unsupervised kids...You have to watch for the drunk weaving behind you...trees that are too low...

Hell...you even have to watch for suicidal people jumping from the bridges. One mistake is deadly. If all that happened with this the truck got damaged then this driver got off lucky. His inattention could have cost lives

Spot on Rainy. Totally, 100% agree with you.

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