Tow truck pulls onto road and collides with tractor, denting both rigs. Was this accident preventable?

It was 2 am and truck driver John Doe was headed west on I-40 just outside of Conway, Arkansas as he prepared to get off at the Crumb Creek Road exit to refuel his big rig and grab a late-night snack. Halfway down the well-lit exit ramp, a Chevy pickup and a tow truck were parked on the right shoulder. 

Slowing to less than 10 mph from a posted ramp speed of 25 mph and switching on his high beams, Doe cautiously came abreast of the tow truck when, WHUMPO! Alas, the dead-tired, inattentive to truck driver had pulled right into Doe’s path, mangling his right front fender and headlight in the process.

Since Doe contested the preventable accident warning letter from his safety director, the National Safety Council’s Accident Review Committee was asked to render a final opinion. To his relief, NSC ruled in his favor, noting that the other truck’s sudden assault could not rationally have been anticipated.


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