Truck driver halts left-hand turn for testy pickup — was this crash preventable?

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Updated Mar 2, 2021

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

Tractor-trailer driver John Doe is rapidly approaching an intersection in the countryside. The light is green and Doe enters with the intent to make a left turn.

Just as he begins to turn a pickup enters the intersection from the left through a red light. The pickup driver stops halfway through, but its location prevents John Doe from completing his turn.

John Doe keeps his foot on the brake, expecting the pickup driver will back up a few inches to create some space. Seeing the pickup driver is uncooperative and won’t budge, Doe checks his mirrors and backs up a foot and prepares to make a wider turn.

The traffic signal changes as John Doe begins to move forward. As soon as the pickup driver has a green light he immediately tries to accelerate around Doe’s trailer and clips the corner.

Was this accident preventable or not?

The NSC determined that the accident was non-preventable. Doe wasn't responsible for the other driver's self-destructive behavior.

See more Preventable or Not scenarios.