In the early morning of a late summer’s day, a 50 year old semi-truck driver was transporting a load of asphalt flux. He had been driving for approximately five hours and was getting ready to exit the interstate when for an unknown reason, the unit left the interstate, sideswiped a SUV parked on the shoulder, drove through a guardrail then proceeded into a ravine. A passing motorist called emergency services, who upon their arrival contacted the local coroner. The driver had been ejected from the cab and was pronounced dead at the scene.

To prevent future occurrences of similar incidents, the following recommendations have been made:

Recommendation No. 1: Companies should provide new and refresher commercial driver safety training for company drivers that addresses driver distraction and includes defensive driving techniques.

Recommendation No. 2: Vehicle stabilizer and sensory systems should be mandatory equipment on all commercial vehicles.

Recommendation No. 3: Semi tractor-trailer drivers should be trained to recognize signs of fatigue and drowsiness and when to seek appropriate rest areas.

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A summary of this case is available as the additional file listed below.

11KY072_Summary.pdf (118 kB)
Case summary