Dangerous And Deadly Week.

Topic 32540 | Page 1

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Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

Not sure if this post is appropriate or not. But man, the stuff we see out here on the road, I felt like writing about it today.

I've only been driving solo for 7 months. But you don't have to be a trucker for 50 years to know that pulling over to the side of the road for anything but an emergency is not a good idea. Commercial driver or otherwise.

Every day I see countless trucks just willy-nilly put on their brakes and pull over to the side of the road. Of course, I can't know why they're pulling over. But quite often, I see them eating, talking on their phone, or not even in the front of their truck; they're somewhere in the back doing who knows what.

Pulling over onto the shoulder is a very dangerous situation for the driver who pulls over, and everyone else on the road. Especially when merging back onto the highway. I even see 4-wheelers with families pull over to get out and stretch their legs and have a snack. I've never understood this behavior, and I never will.

Yesterday, after seeing at least three other trucks in the ditch or in a field on a beautiful clear sky day and perfect road conditions, that very act caused the death of a commercial driver on westbound 80 in Cuyahoga, Ohio. I was traveling east and saw the aftermath. As I was getting closer, I could see it was a bad scene. I shouldn't have looked, but I did - just devastating to see. Police were on the scene, but the ambulance hadn't arrived yet.

According to channel 5 news Cleveland, the driver of the truck that struck the merging truck from behind did not make it. This was evident to me at the scene. The driver, who was merging back onto the road, was taken to the hospital.

Of course, in these situations, everyone has a responsibility, not just the driver merging back into traffic. Situations like this are why we're supposed to look out for, and move over when we see a vehicle on the side of the road.

I kid you not when I say I saw a least a dozen trucks off the road in a field or a ditch this week, all in perfect weather and road conditions. Route 80 in Pennsylvania near Lock Haven, has had at least 6 trucks run right through the guard rails on the westbound downhill in the last 2 months. They can't replace the guardrails fast enough. It's not even winter. There's even one truck pulling a flatbed, that went through the guard rails near Emlenton, PA, in July, that is still sitting in a farmer's woods. A couple of weeks ago, he put a detour sign on the back of the trailer.

And a couple more things, a driver tried to use his truck to block me from continuing in the right lane in a construction zone when we were 2 miles from the merge point. I could clearly see at least 3/4 mile ahead, and there was nobody in the right lane. This driver darted over into the right lane as I was moving along at about 25 mph. I had to brake and use the shoulder to avoid colliding with him. I didn't get angry. I just proceeded to move along in the right lane, and so did everyone else behind me. Pretty sure I saw some blue lights pull up next to that truck after I moved along, or maybe I just imagined it. Also, another Amazon Prime driver passed me on the right...near Cleveland, AGAIN!

https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/local-news/driver-dies-after-2-commercial-vehicles-collide-on-ohio-turnpike-near-strongsville-oshp-says

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

CDL Life has brief news articles multiple times each week of avoidable truck crashes. Shoulders are for emergencies only.

CDL:

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.
Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

In addition to the shoulder, as a general rule, not being a good place, to park, I commonly see trucks parked in places even more dangerous than a the random shoulder. Primarily areas where there are more space, like near off-ramps and on-ramps. I regularly see trucks parked in that bigger shoulder area at the end of an on-ramp, which, as many of you know, you sometimes need to use because someone won't or can't let you merge onto the highway. In fact, I just have to use it the other day. So, even worse than a random shoulder.

Chris W.'s Comment
member avatar

I have noticed this as well. I agree completely. If I want to take a break for food or anything I go one of three places. A truck stop preferably pilot unless I want a shower then I would stop at a loves, a rest area, or last but certainly not least a Walmart parking lot (where I am now typing this)

I have pulled over in the shoulder before when I was a rookie to even sleep bad habit that I broke. Also pull over to do inspections when I suspect something wrong but I don't pull over for any longer then 15min if possible unless there is a big issue.

Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

Sometimes parking in an area that is not designated parking is a matter of necessity and not choice. If a driver is beginning to feel exhaustion coming on, and the time of night has parking in the areas full, sometimes that exit/entrance ramp becomes a necessary place to park because otherwise an even greater threat to public safety comes into play: a drowsy driver on the road. Does a driver become less exhausted because a rest area is full and parking along entrance/exit ramp is not optimally safe? Quite the contrary. As we continue driving to look for parking, we become more tired and exhausted, eventually hitting drowsiness. Would you rather have that truck parked along the entrance ramp or exit ramp where you should be driving slowly enough to avoid, or that truck being driven by an exhausted driver with its movements erratic and unpredictable? The NE says good luck finding a legit parking spot between 21:00 and 07:00.

Be careful what you wish for in complaining about where trucks are parked. Better to be parked and alive than driving to optimal parking and in a wreck then dead.

Bill M.'s Comment
member avatar

I was pretty clear in my message about why trucks should or should not be parked on the side of the road. I will not waiver on this. And this instance, another driver was killed because the driver on the side of the road was pulling back into the road. Maybe he was just waking up aftwr taking a nap to keep the public safe. I have no way of knowing.

But I "wish" the outcome would have been different for those involved in this deadly accident.

Sometimes parking in an area that is not designated parking is a matter of necessity and not choice. If a driver is beginning to feel exhaustion coming on, and the time of night has parking in the areas full, sometimes that exit/entrance ramp becomes a necessary place to park because otherwise an even greater threat to public safety comes into play: a drowsy driver on the road. Does a driver become less exhausted because a rest area is full and parking along entrance/exit ramp is not optimally safe? Quite the contrary. As we continue driving to look for parking, we become more tired and exhausted, eventually hitting drowsiness. Would you rather have that truck parked along the entrance ramp or exit ramp where you should be driving slowly enough to avoid, or that truck being driven by an exhausted driver with its movements erratic and unpredictable? The NE says good luck finding a legit parking spot between 21:00 and 07:00.

Be careful what you wish for in complaining about where trucks are parked. Better to be parked and alive than driving to optimal parking and in a wreck then dead.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Banks's Comment
member avatar
Every day I see countless trucks just willy-nilly put on their brakes and pull over to the side of the road. 

I've seen drivers pull over on 80 in PA to take pictures of the trees changing colors. I couldn't get over and when I saw why he stopped (I saw him standing in front of his truck taking pictures), I didn't care that I couldn't get over.

There's even one truck pulling a flatbed, that went through the guard rails near Emlenton, PA, in July, that is still sitting in a farmer's woods. A couple of weeks ago, he put a detour sign on the back of the trailer.

I'm assuming that's an owner operator that can't afford a wrecker. It had freight on it that's scattered down there too.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

That rig had been down the embankment awhile. The last time I was through there, it had snow on it.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar
Be careful what you wish for in complaining about where trucks are parked. Better to be parked and alive than driving to optimal parking and in a wreck then dead.

That's a very simplistic way of looking at things, Ryan. But things aren't always that simple.

Parking on the shoulder or ramp is illegal and deadly. If you are parked there and someone hits you and dies, guess who gets nailed for homicide. You weren't supposed to be there in the first place.

Proper trip planning and adequate rest should be first and foremost, not driving to exhaustion and parking wherever you want in the "interest of public safety".

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