Doe dinged at the dock. Was this accident preventable?

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Updated Feb 17, 2023

preventable or not accident scenarioJohn Doe drove his reefer into the restaurant dock area and was struck by a car driven by an employee who was late for work.John Doe was rolling his refrigerated straight truck along Friendly Road toward Cut and Shoot, Texas, en route to the Fiesta Fresh restaurant with several cases of Professor Pyrotechnics' Salsa Verde.

There was the “Trucks Only” delivery entrance to Fiesta Fresh dead ahead, and Doe slowed to a crawl.

He cautiously entered the tiny dock area behind the restaurant, flipped on his right-turn signal, and began a wide swing to the right, at 5 mph, in anticipation of parking by the loading area. 

All was well... for a second.

Señorita Sofía Santiago, a sleep-dazed late-for-work waitress, sped wildly into the gravel-covered dock area in her magenta Camaro, looking for a shortcut to the employee parking area.

Seeing that Doe was turning across her hood, Señorita Santiago leaned on her horn, hit the brakes and started to slide. Doe saw a pink flash enter the yard and panic-stopped within a few feet but … WHUMPO! No bueno! Señorita Santiago's four-cylinder "muscle car" skidded right into, and slightly dented, Doe’s right-side saddle tank.

Was this accident preventable? 

Doe received a preventable-accident warning letter from his safety director and appealed to the National Safety Council’s Accident Review Committee for a final verdict. NSC almost immediately ruled in Doe’s favor, noting that he’d proceeded with reasonable caution and was stationary when struck by the speedy señorita.