Preventable Accidents

Topic 22544 | Page 1

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Andrew J.'s Comment
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Hello truckers. As someone that is looking to get into the industry I like to look for job openings and browse around. Most of them say that you can’t have a certain amount of preventable accidents. And I believe you can get fired for a preventable accident. Some sites on Facebook people say that any accident is a preventable accident. Is that true? They say you’re the professional so you are responsible. So if somebody slams into the back of your truck while you are parked is that a preventable accident? I don’t want to be driving and doing a good job just to have a bad driver plow into the back of me and then I get fired. Thanks in advance for your responses. Love this site and all the information here. I’m just trying to make an informed decision before I start my career. Thanks affair.

PackRat's Comment
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Many accidents are preventable, whether it was the truck driver's fault or not. Example: you brought up being rear-ended by a car when parked. Could go either way. For instance, if your rig was stopped for the night on an exit or entrance ramp to a roadway and a car runs into you, big rig driver's fault. Why? Parked illegally on a shoulder. Another one: two lanes merge into one, you are in the left lane and the right lane is the lane that needs to merge. 4 wheelers will jump in front of you nearly every time. If you are not diligent, and expecting this, that may get you a preventable. Many more examples abound, and many seem like it would be the conclusion that the dumb car driver will be the guilty party. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. My point is that most accidents can be prevented well before the moment where there is no turning back. Training, experience, your gut feeling, common sense and being vigilant at all times will prevent 99% of crashes beforehand.

Big T's Comment
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Andrew preventable accidents or incidents are exactly what it sounds like. Was there something you could have reasonably done to prevent the accident.

You are driving down the road and someone plows into you will usually not be preventable. However if you were parked on the side of the road and someone ran into you then it could be considered preventable.

It is possible to not be at fault, but still get hit with a preventable.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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I was hit by a drunk driver with witnesses and it was a "nonpreventable"

Slowpoke's Comment
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To answer your question as simply as possible, YES every accident is preventable! However before I go any further I want to take a moment as to the difference between being involved in a preventable accident and being at fault for an accident and I guess we may as well go a step further and explain the being charged or issued a citation as a result of an accident. All three of these things are completely different terms in regards to an accident, unfortunately these terms seem to get used interchangeably and loosely as opposed to being hinged to solid definition. So let's first give some definition to them and then discuss how and why they are often misused with regards to the preventability of an accident.

1. Charged/Issued a Citation - Is only an indicator that at least one of the parties to the accident were in violation of a traffic law prior to, during or after the accident. This violation "MAY" have contributed to the accident, but is not necessarily a primary contributing factor. Law enforcement is at the scene of an accident for many reasons, but none of those reasons have to do with determining if an accident was preventable or not, they already know the answer to that question is yes. They are there to investigate and gather facts, and where that investigation or those facts reveal a violation of the law lay charges or issue citations as deemed appropriate. This is the reason that most defense lawyers will tell you to give only the required information at the scene of any accident, name, contact information, drivers licence, vehicle registration, insurance information. (Note I did not say statement or description of what happened, remember anything you offer voluntarily to a law enforcement officer is not covered by Miranda or Constitutional Rights, but this is a topic for a different thread)

2. At Fault/Not at Fault - This is an insurance term and must not be confused or interchanged for the words preventable or non-preventable (unfortunately this is often the case and why people seem to revolt about having been deemed to be in a preventable accident, but as you will see with the definition of preventable below this should not be the case). Fault is simply a determination of the percentage of responsibility an individual bears towards a situation. As an aside here, if you are deemed to be 50.01% responsible for an accident 100% of the fault, and therefore financial responsibility will rest with your insurer. Fault determination rules are different from state to state, but yes it is possible to be 49.99% responsible for an accident and be deemed by insurance as Not at Fault.

3. Preventable Accident - Is one in which the driver failed to exercise every reasonable precaution to prevent the accident. This is irrespective of whether or not there is property damage or personal injury, the extent of the loss of injury, to whom it occurred and the location of the accident. In order for a person to avoid being involved in a preventable accident, each driver should understand and practice the concept of defensive driving. “Defensive driving” is driving so as to prevent accidents in spite of the incorrect actions of others and adverse driving conditions; such as light, weather, road, traffic, vehicle condition and your physical and mental state.

So is every accident preventable? Yes. Is every accident preventable by your actions? The answer to that is only determined by the effort you put into being a defensive driver. Are you at fault for every preventable accident you may be involved in? No. Will you be charged or receive a traffic citation for every preventable accident you will be involved in? No.

Regards, Slowpoke


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


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.

Diver Driver's Comment
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You forgot one small detail. The "wonderful" (Extreme sarcasm) CSA system we have still gives you points for accidents that are non preventable. A drunk driver rear ends you, a person comes into your lane, a person crosses the double yellow... yep, the CSA still gives you points for that.

Not to turn this political, but this is what happens when the government tries to control everything.


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

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Many of these can be expunged from your CSA score via a Data Q challenge. If not, keep precise notes, photos, and any other pertinent information for your records. Comes in very handy at a potential CDL- related job interview.


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


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

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