Drivers' Corner - Caring in Action


Have you ever felt like a sitting duck? A driver was traveling southbound on I-45 near Madisonville, Texas, heading for Houston for his delivery the next morning. It was beginning to turn dark.

Suddenly, his unit began to shut down intermittently on its on. He clutched and pulled over to the emergency lane and the engine died completely. His attempts at restarting were to no avail.

He immediately got out of his tractor and set his triangles. He looked for a phone. Locating a service station down the road about a 1/2 mile, he began to walk to report to his dispatch.

He had gone about a 1/4 of a mile when he heard the screeching of brakes and the deadening thud of a collision. Looking back, he saw that a car had run into the back of his trailer and there was smoke everywhere.

He ran back to help but could not approach the vehicle due to the fire that had enveloped the area. Two people were killed and burned in the accident.

A tragedy of this magnitude teaches us several things:

  1. By law we are a hazard to the flow of traffic even when we are on the emergency lane with an emergency. The accident would not have occurred had he not been there.
  2. Set your triangles, but stay with the unit and use a flashlight to help traffic see you. Choose a place that you can be safe should it be necessary. Use your cell phone to summon help. If you do not have one - get one!
  3. If possible, when shutting down, try to make it to a place where you can get your unit completely off the paved surface.