Rollaways . . . Runaways . . . Driveoffs . . .

Anthony Dellegrazie kneels over the covered body his dad, in Brooklyn on Monday.

The Case of the Unsecured Vehicle . . .

A truck driver stopped his tractor-trailer to drop off lunch to a fellow worker. Noticing the truck had started to roll away, he attempted to get back in the vehicle and during the attempt, the 26 year old father of two was fatally injured.

While these type of collisions are sometimes referred to as “freak accidents,” they are not that uncommon. An online search for “driver killed trying to stop rolling truck” shows over 27 million results . . .

Countermeasures

A countermeasure is defined as a measure or action taken to counter or offset another one.

Drivers should be in the habit of a following what some call the Cockpit Exit Routine.

(1) Set the brakes or check that the brakes have been set. To set or check the air brakes,pull the yellow knob on the dash. This will also automatically deploy the trailer air brakes.

(2) Ensure the ignition key is in the “off” position. On average, a truck key is left in the “on/ accessory-position” at least once a year, resulting in a drained battery (and about a $225 average service call).

(3) Check that the turn signal or emergency lights are off.

(4) Check a second time that the air brakes have been set  by pulling on the yellow knob again.

(5) Once outside, take a final glance back at the truck, making sure no lights have been left on. Set wheel chocks if the vehicle is parked on an incline.

Drivers should not attempt to chase or stop a rolling truck. I am not aware of any situations where such an attempt made the situation better. More than likely, a panicked attempt to stop a truck already in motion will result in a serious injury or worse.

Stay cool. Stay calm. Follow the Cockpit Exit Routine.

Driveoffs

The NY Post reported a tragedy occurred early this week when someone stole Phil Dellegrazie’s brand-new flatbed truck while he was loading it by his metal shop in Brooklyn. After confronting the man at an intersection, the suspect ran over and killed Mr. Dellegrazie, who was well-liked and respected by the local community.

If your vehicle is being stolen, it’s hard to stop yourself from reacting. But the key thing is to respond, not react.

The best response is to call the police, then your insurance company. They deal with this everyday. One vehicle is stolen every minute, nationally.

Countermeasures

According to NHTSA  up to half of stolen vehicles are a result of oversights or mistakes made by the driver . . .

  • Always lock the vehicle, taking the keys with you
  • Avoid keeping a spare key hidden in or on the vehicle.
  • Always lock the door and roll up the windows.
  • Never leave the vehicle running.

Thank you for reading this.

 

 

Preventing Dangerous and Deadly Truck Rollaways . . .

Use a “Cockpit Exit Routine” when parking a truck.

Rollaway truck kills motorcyclist

“A 30-year-old man riding his motorcycle was struck and killed by an unsecured and unmanned truck rolling down a hill.

. . . the truck’s driver told deputies he had set the parking brake, but an inspection showed the brake had not been set. Deputies cited the truck driver for negligent driving and lack of control.”

Every day dozens of trucks roll away after being positioned and/or parked by the driver. Some harmlessly roll a few inches. Others have rolled across parking lots or into intersections and major highways causing major property damage or fatalities. Sometimes the driver attempts to physically stop the truck or attempts to climb back into the moving cab, and becomes pinned against the truck or under the truck’s wheels.

What can be done?

In many of these rollaways, the driver simply became distracted and failed to set the parking brake. The driver simply made an error and the truck, if parked on a slight incline, will begin to roll away.

One possible Solution . . .

Ask your driver to work with you to develop a cockpit “exit routine.” What is an exit routine?

An “exit routine” is a systematic cockpit check inside of the cab before exiting the vehicle. I have taught the following “exit routine” to hundreds of drivers.

Cockpit Exit Routine

(1) Set the brakes or check that the brakes have been set. To set or check the air brakes, pull the yellow knob on the dash. This will also automatically deploy the trailer air brakes.

(2) Ensure the ignition key is in the “off” position. On average, a truck key is left in the “on/ accessory-position” at least once a year, resulting in a drained battery (and about a $200 average service call).

(3) Check the turn signal or emergency (4-ways) lights are off.

(4) Check a second time that the air brakes have been set  by pulling on the yellow knob again.

(5) Once outside, take a final glance at the truck, making sure no lights have been left on.

Another step is writing up the post-trip vehicle inspection report or DRIV.

Each time the driver exits or parks the vehicle, he should get in the habit of following the steps of the cockpit exit routine.  Doing so will ensure that the key is in the “off position,” the vehicle’s lights are off and, most importantly, the air brakes have been set, preventing a dangerous truck rollaway.

Having the driver put together the cockpit exit routine procedures increases the probability he will continue to follow the steps until they become a habit. Drivers should use wheels chocks when appropriate and should never physically attempt to stop a moving truck or attempt to climb or “jump” back into the cab of a vehicle in motion.

Do your drivers have a set cockpit exit routine that they follow?