Whether from rain, snow, ice, or wind, every once in a while a driver will get hit with a true test of his or her abilities. In the case of one skilled CMV driver traveling in Kansas, his day had come with vengeance. Severe crosswinds battered the plains and just as this driver crested the top of a hill, the full force of the storm careened into the side of his truck and trailer. The driver could have panicked and forgotten all of his training and experience or he could maintain control and keep his truck upright. In the case of this particular driver, he made the best choice in his situation and turned his truck into the direction of the roll while aiming for a clearing off the road. There are a ton of factors and split-second decisions that come into play when discussing this video of the Kansas driver. Let’s take a minute and look at some of the factors that could have made this scene go horribly wrong.
Steering-wheel hand position
REASON: Had the driver been leaning back in his seat with one hand on the top side of the steering wheel, like many drivers do, he would have certainly flipped this truck and trailer over on its side. Instead, the driver maintained a firm grip on his steering wheel which helped him maintain control. This gave him the power to turn into his roll.
REASON: If the driver had not seen the trailer begin to roll over in his mirror, it would have been too late to correct it.
Acceleration and braking
REASON: Acceleration and braking play a major role in the remediation of any emergency maneuver. This driver could have responded by touching his brakes or letting off the fuel, but it most certainly would have resulted in the truck and trailer laying over. You never want to stall a truck. Always be in control with tires rolling freely and in a gear that allows you to accelerate.
REASON: In many instances, there are emergency vehicles broken down on the side of the road.
If this driver hadn’t had a space cushion on the right side of the truck, he wouldn’t have had any direction to go.
Ultimately, we as drivers need to remember to be aware of our surroundings and the potential hazards of the road. Always keep in mind that we have Stop Work Authority. If the conditions are severe enough, get off the road and wait for the conditions to improve. There is NO load worth the lives of ourselves or others.
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