Trucks collide at icy intersection — was this crash preventable or not?

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This video is an adaptation of a scenario from CCJ’s Preventable or Not manuals. It is presented via a partnership between CCJ and Instructional Technologies

Truck driver John Doe is headed towards a delivery in hazardous winter driving conditions. He grips the steering wheel and scans the ice-covered city boulevard ahead while creeping along at 20 miles per hour.

The road at midday is nearly empty, but a straight truck is approaching crossways at the next intersection ahead.

John Doe assesses the situation. He knows he has the right-of-way and believes that the other driver is moving at a careful pace. When that driver attempts to obey the stop sign he slides into the middle of the intersection. 

Doe still believes he has time to stop and lightly applies his brakes to maintain traction. The slick road surface thwarts this effort and his tractor-trailer slides into the side of the straight truck.

Was this accident preventable or not? 

Upon review, the National Safety Council ruled against John Doe. The council acknowledged that it is unreasonable to expect a trucker to slow down at every intersection, but given the icy conditions Doe should have attempted to brake much sooner. He should have anticipated the other trucker’s inability to stop and his own possible problems of coming to a halt.

See more Preventable or Not scenarios.