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 . . .
- Semi driver killed while trying to stop runaway truck (YouTube)
- Driver, 57, dies after hit by his own vehicle as he tried to stop it
- FedEx driver tried to stop his rolling truck
- Tree trimmer dies trying to stop rolling truck
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.
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.
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.