Inadequate Training Leads to Semi-Truck Lane-Change Accident

This case study explores an incident where a semi-truck driver's inadequate training led to a collision, causing severe injuries to another motorist.

ByExpert Institute

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Published on February 6, 2024

Semi-truck changing lanes

Case Overview

This case study delves into an incident involving an individual who sustained severe back and neck injuries after colliding with a semi-truck. The semi-truck driver, changing lanes, failed to recognize a vehicle in their blind spot. To avoid being forced off the road, the victim had to steer against the semi-truck, leading to significant injuries.

During a deposition, the semi-truck driver admitted to receiving insufficient training on lane-changing procedures and safety measures. This case necessitates an expert in trucking operations and safety to review the training standards provided.

Questions to the expert and their responses

Q1

Can you briefly describe your experience in trucking safety as it pertains to training standards for lane-changing a semi-truck?

I am a retired truck driver and truck transportation safety manager with 13 years of experience. Additionally, I served as a police officer for 17 years. During this time, I investigated hundreds of truck crashes, including fatal ones that led to criminal prosecution or civil litigation.

Q2

What training standards exist for a semi-truck driver to ensure all blind spots are checked prior to a lane change on the interstate?

Truck drivers must use lean and look when changing lanes. This method changes their field of vision regarding hood-mounted and door-mounted mirrors. As they alter their angle to the mirror surface, their view changes, increasing their field of vision. They should also adjust their seat height appropriately to see over the dashboard and hood into areas not covered by mirrors.

Any devices installed on the dashboard or inside the windshield can obstruct vision and should be considered. Furthermore, activating turn signals well before any lane change is crucial so other motorists can respond accordingly.

All these elements should be included in proper driver training related to lane changes.

About the expert

This expert boasts nearly three decades of experience in truck transportation safety, including roles as a senior fleet safety specialist and an FMCSA Safety Advisor at leading logistics and robotics companies. They have also held managerial positions in fleet safety and compliance at prominent transport firms. Currently, this expert applies their extensive knowledge and skills as a safety consultant at a renowned truck transportation safety consultancy.

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