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Tue Apr 30, 2019, 11:55 AM

As a truck driver, I cringe when I hear of accidents where someone has been killed or injured.

Last week there was a runaway truck on I-70 west of Denver, that slammed into several stopped cars and 4 other semi trucks, killing 4 motorist and injuring several others after losing his brakes going down a steep grade.

This morning, I am in Jasper, AL and just heard that a mechanic was changing a tire on a semi truck, just west of Jasper on I-22, he was hit by a passing truck and was killed. This happened about 5 hours ago. Another truck diver saw it happen. He said that the truck didn't change lanes. Alabama has the "move over law", which this driver did not move over, or slow to a safer speed.

I am in no way saying accident don't happen and I know I am not a perfect driver, but here are two good cases where drivers now days, may not be training properly or their driving skills are not adequate enough to drive a semi truck. We are losing the most qualified drivers, because the regulations are rapidly changing and the companies are hiring anyone with a CD (Commercial Drivers' License).

Talking with a State Trooper, who was securing the truck here at the truck stop. He said the driver of the truck had only been driving on his own for about 2 months by himself and being trained for 4 weeks with a trainer. I feel awful for both the mechanic, his family and the driver, because he has to live with this for the rest of life.

Like last this accident last week's accident in Denver, the truck driver only had been driving about one year.

I have been driving for 35 years, done some stupid things that could have been bad in the end, but I also had 3 years of training, my father, the Army and a some old timers that I worked for! That's was before I was turned loose on my own.

My final thoughts, are we living in a world where everyone is in a hurry? Yes, because we want everything now. Is there a remedy for this? Yes, but I don't see it happening.

My heart and prayers go out to all those people who lost their lives.



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Reply As a truck driver, I cringe when I hear of accidents where someone has been killed or injured. (Original post)
imanamerican63 Apr 2019 OP
Marengo Apr 2019 #1
ariesgem Apr 2019 #17
Cicada Apr 2019 #2
hlthe2b Apr 2019 #3
CloudWatcher Apr 2019 #21
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2019 #24
gldstwmn Apr 2019 #28
CloudWatcher Apr 2019 #31
Shell_Seas Apr 2019 #4
hlthe2b Apr 2019 #5
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2019 #25
hlthe2b Apr 2019 #26
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2019 #30
harumph Apr 2019 #7
gldstwmn Apr 2019 #20
durablend Apr 2019 #23
Shell_Seas Apr 2019 #27
gldstwmn Apr 2019 #29
mercuryblues Apr 2019 #6
Tobin S. Apr 2019 #8
Rebl2 Apr 2019 #9
imanamerican63 Apr 2019 #11
CaptYossarian Apr 2019 #10
imanamerican63 Apr 2019 #12
Stuart G Apr 2019 #13
barbtries Apr 2019 #15
barbtries Apr 2019 #14
sinkingfeeling Apr 2019 #16
gtar100 Apr 2019 #18
gldstwmn Apr 2019 #19
MineralMan Apr 2019 #22
Blue_true Apr 2019 #32

Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 12:01 PM

1. I received CDL training through the local community college and regard the program as excellent.

 

However, the training provided by some of the trucking companies is scandalously short and minimal (CR England comes to mind).

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Response to Marengo (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 01:53 PM

17. Exactly. I went to CR England to get my Class A. Their course is about 2 1/2 weeks

At the Fontana CA yard, they would have about 20 people waiting in line just to do 1 straight line back up, those same people would then go to the next line and do another maneuver. For road practice, they would pile 4 people in a truck and each person would take turns driving for a few minutes. For the ones who caught on quick during that short time, they would pass them thru. CR's instructors are all certified with the DMV to pass you. I didn't pass and glad I didn't. I knew I wasn't ready. I continued my training with Knight Transportation and eventually got my Class A.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 12:04 PM

2. The future looks bright about highway safety

I decided to buy a new car because as I age I see that I make some mistakes. So I got a car which brakes and alarms if I am headed for something, and which alarms if I cross over lines on my left or right. We have technology to prevent drunks driving. Assisted driving should save countless lives. Also Tesla is incredibly crash safe because there are many feet of crushable metal in front. An engine up front does great harm when you crash, it doesnít crush. So soon big progress.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 12:07 PM

3. THat wreck was horrific, but it is increasingly apparent that the runaway truck driver who claims

brakes had failed passed at least one runaway truck ramp on the descent from I-70.

I used to travel that section of I-70 routinely and it has always been something I've worried about.

Horrific. Truly.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 02:21 PM

21. Mountain training

I drive that stretch pretty often. I was shocked that he decided it would be better to stay on the highway instead of bailing off the side of the road ... with or without a runaway ramp. Plowing into stopped traffic doesn't seem like the best option.

I'm amazed at the number of people who don't know to down-shift when coming off a mountain. Or even pump and release their brakes to keep them cooler. Not just car drivers, school bus drivers, RTD drivers, and the occasional trucker ... brakes lights on the whole ride down. There is almost always the smell of burnt brake pads in the air.

I keep wondering if there should be additional permits (and testing) for driving in the mountains, or in really dicey conditions. Training is needed to overcome our instinct to "just keep going."

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Response to CloudWatcher (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 02:53 PM

24. "I'm amazed at the number of people who don't know to down-shift when coming off a mountain."

Why I wish more people drove a standard transmission. I am now 70 years old, will only drive a standard transmission. But more to the point, in all the years I've been a passenger with someone driving an automatic, I've only had one driver actually downshift coming down a mountain.

A few years ago, middle of winter in the midwest, a friend complained bitterly about how slick the road was that day driving to work. I asked, "Did you bother to downshift?" She looked at me as if I were speaking Martian. Apparently, the thought of doing that simply never entered her head.

Okay, I understand why a person might prefer an automatic. But for pete's sake, remember that the car does have a lower gear or two and make use of it when appropriate.

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Response to CloudWatcher (Reply #21)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 03:53 PM

28. If I could ask the guy one question

I would want to know why he didn't utilize the runaway truck ramp. Two guys in a work truck were following him and recording with the passenger's cell phone. He was driving so erratically they said they sped up to see what was going on with him. They managed to pull along side of him and noticed immediately he was terrified and not fully in control of the vehicle. They checked their speedometer and found they were going 85 mph. They slowed down and stayed back continuing to film until he was no longer insight. I also wondered about down shifting but thought it might not be effective/possible in a truck. I also wondered if the "weak grasp on the English language" meant he wasn't able to read the signs for the ramp.

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Response to gldstwmn (Reply #28)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 04:45 PM

31. Downshifting

The idea is to downshift before you lose your brakes. I'm not a trucker, but I suspect it might be difficult/impossible to downshift once your speed gets out of control.

Any trucker that doesn't understand when/how to use a runaway ramp shouldn't be on the highway. I would have hoped that's covered by the CDL, but given what just happened, I'm guessing it's not?



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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 12:19 PM

4. By 2050 cars will be completely autonomous and death by car accident will be almost non-existent.

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Response to Shell_Seas (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 12:37 PM

5. I'd like to think so; driving was once fun, but that feeling was lost a long time ago.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #5)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 02:53 PM

25. For me it's still fun.

But I drive a stick shift, and I bet that's got a lot to do with it.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #25)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 03:02 PM

26. Open road, nothing is more fun, but I increasingly experience nothing but traffic now...

and the last few times I made a day trip to ski the mountains out I-70, the wall-to-wall traffic home--with painfully sore legs made the decision to hit the brake, much less the clutch a major torment.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #26)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 04:04 PM

30. Hondas have clutches with a remarkably light touch.

Years ago when I was wondering why more people didn't drive standard transmission (I drove a VW Bug at the time) my younger brother explained to me that the clutches on most American cars were very stiff and a lot of work to use. I was astonished to learn that.

And my two most recent cars, a 2004 Honda Civic and now a 2017 Honda Fit, the clutches are very easy.

Of course, coming home with sore legs after a day of skiing is something else entirely!

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Response to Shell_Seas (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 12:48 PM

7. uh huh.

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Response to Shell_Seas (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 02:08 PM

20. Absolutely. Foolish human driving

Will be athing of the past.

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Response to Shell_Seas (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 02:30 PM

23. Riiiiiiiiiiiight

And when the algorithm decides whether to crash into a brick wall and kill its occupant or mow the pedestrian down which do you think it'll do?

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Response to durablend (Reply #23)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 03:22 PM

27. Oh, the old trolley experiment. MIT has been testing such scenarios for years in preparation of

implementing ethical decisions in AI.

Check it out: http://moralmachine.mit.edu/

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Response to durablend (Reply #23)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 03:56 PM

29. Whether you like it or not it's coming. There will

be errors but they won't be being made by a human.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 12:47 PM

6. It isn't just truck drivers

My kid was coming home from school yesterday around a curve. A car was in his lane, coming straight at him. He would have been fine in an accident, he drives a Ram. The people in the car would have been dead in their little KIA. They got back in their lane just in time.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 01:00 PM

8. Hi brother trucker. :)

I haul mail from Dayton, Ohio to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and back five nights a week with a stop on the way back in Columbus, Ohio. I heard about that wreck out in Colorado, Truly horrific- the stuff truck drivers' nightmares are made out of.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 01:14 PM

9. And there

is talk of letting people as young as 18 drive semi trucks. I donít think so.

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Response to Rebl2 (Reply #9)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 01:21 PM

11. Althought I agree that 18 is too young.

There are men and women who are older learning how to drive a truck. The driver in today's accident was in his 40's. It boils down to training and the mindset of that person.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 01:18 PM

10. Here in Wisconsin, my wife takes the Interstate to work.

When there's dense fog or extremely icy conditions, the semi drivers still exceed the posted speed limit, while she drives slower. I worry about her safety the way I worry about my daughter getting shot at school--daily.


Since I can't punch every speeding truck driver or psychotic gun nut (there's only so much time in a day), what can I do?

It's up to a conscientious driver like you to put the word out to other drivers. Maybe changing the rules involving how many miles instead of hours driven each day could be a factor. Increase the safety bonuses too.

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Response to CaptYossarian (Reply #10)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 01:27 PM

12. You are absolutly right!

I have a truck that is governed at 68. I have driven trucks that would do 90 mph, but I was taught that if I were to blow a steer, I would not walk away from the accident. I also slow down in adverse weather. It not just for my convenience. but the motorist too.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 01:32 PM

13. I am not a truck driver, but I drive around the city of Chicago and Evanston Il.

I have never seen so many stupid mistakes by drivers. I suspect that these people are on cell phones. Or..working some sort of computer while driving. The mistakes are amazing and stupid beyond belief. I am always on the lookout for them, now more than ever. Everyone who reads this..there are drivers who do not pay attention, and are sure they can do that and drive a car.
...These people who do this, are stupid beyond belief. Driving a car or truck takes total attention...YES.........
............TOTAL ATTENTION....please be on the lookout for these people. ......please avoid them....
...............please..........please.........please...avoid these drivers.....thanks for reading this....

.................these non paying attention drivers..in all sorts of vehicles....will KILL YOU!!!!!

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Response to Stuart G (Reply #13)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 01:48 PM

15. i was rearended on the freeway

by a guy on his phone. fortunately he was in a passenger car or i might not be here to tell the story.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 01:47 PM

14. you're obviously a good and judicious driver.

isn't this related as well to a shortage of drivers?

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 01:51 PM

16. My son got his CDL at age 21. Went to a training center for like 6

weeks and then hit the road with an experienced driver. He lasted a month. He had a pickup truck pull out in front of him. He managed not to run over it, but he quit. He said he could never forgive himself if he killed someone.
We had to pay the company back for his training costs.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 02:05 PM

18. I think you nailed it - we are in too much of a hurry.

We want too much too fast and not seeing that some things require more time and more resources before they have matured and are ready. What is our hurry?

What drives this? I think it's money and the dream of being in the top 1% of the top 1%. Businesses want greater and greater output, automation, low production cost and a high price tag for just about everything. Owners and executives want larger slices of the pie. And we end up with near exponential growth in income for a select few and stagnation or complete loss of income for the rest of humanity. Workers are required to do more for less and it puts us all at risk for more accidents of all kinds.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 02:05 PM

19. The Denver driver was obviously

Unfamiliar with the stretch of road he was driving. It is notorious for brake failures. News reports say the company had been cited for several drivers weak grasp on the English language. People behind him said there was some sort of fluid coming from the truck. He passed not one but three runaway truck ramps with massive signs and huge flashing arrows. He decided to utilize the emergency lane which worked until he came upon a stopped truck that had pulled over to let his brakes cool. Then he decided to drive into stopped traffic from a previous accident. He was hauling lumber which quickly caught fire on impact. This guy did so many things wrong he was really negligent. One of the victim's wives says she feels sorry for him. She and her husband were about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. It's a terrible tragedy and one that certainly could have been avoided.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 02:29 PM

22. One of the factors is the pressure on drivers to make schedules.

The trucking company or freight contractor isn't on the road, and can't see conditions. But, the schedule is tight, so drivers get pressure to avoid late deliveries. That's part of it. Owner-drivers too, are often operating on slim margins and can't have being late affect their next load.

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Response to imanamerican63 (Original post)

Tue Apr 30, 2019, 06:24 PM

32. I have a constant problem with drivers in my area of Florida trying to

Enter traffic from the leftmost part of the center medians. They force exiting vehicles to exit to the left of them, blocking other cars from entering the median and creating a blind spot to oncoming traffic for the driver that just exited the highway into the median. The driver exiting the highway and the driver entering the median are supposed to take their rightmost points in the median, so the each cleanly see the oncoming traffic that they will have to deal with.

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