Ignorance: More Deadly Than a Speeding Bullet?


War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. George Orwell

Too Big to Quench

The fire was big and hot. Too big for the local Fire Department without help from an airport foam truck. So hot the driver could not be found.

Cause of the crash?

A sudden swerve by the tanker driver to avoid a mattress on the road . . .


mattress on road

That’s right. Police say the driver crashed after swerving to avoid mattresses that fell from the roof of another vehicle.

The mattresses are fine. The tractor, tanker, and driver are now just memories.

Sure, the driver probably believed he was doing the right thing. The outcome was not what he expected or desired.

Preventable or Not?

Insurance companies see accidents as random events. That means in any given time or place the “odds” — a measure of the likelihood of an event’s occurrence — have an equal probability of happening  — or not happening (for a given set of like organizations).

Somewhere out there another mattress will fall off another vehicle. But we just can’t predict when or where. It will be another random event.

“Luck is the residue of design.”

We can, however, prepare our drivers for these freakish events. We know, for example, that 90% to 95% of crashes are due to human error. Driving means operating a vehicle at high speeds inches away from other humans operating their vehicles. Human drivers are prone to making errors. Sometimes serious errors. This means we need to always drive defensively. Fully automated driving is years, if not decades away (according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute).

Defense driving means asking ourselves and our drivers questions like:

  • What do I do if a mattress is on my path in the roadway?
  • How should I safely crest a hill?
  • How should I check traffic at an intersection?
  • What should I do for a tire blowout?

These are just a few “random” events I pulled from today’s Google Alert on truck crashes.

There are many driving situations that should be reviewed periodically with drivers. Top companies do this in the form of a newsletter, in the context of a safety meeting, a Qualcomm message, or a call from a dispatcher.

Prepare today for tomorrow’s random events. It will save lives and property and help keep everyone’s insurance rates down.

Thank you for reading this.









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