Trailer Talk

Tailgating Driver Not a Complete Idiot

Incredibly, she was not hurt at all because she was wearing her seat-and-shoulder belt. And we can hope she received a life's lesson.

August 8, 2016

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Out-of-control car has bumped the semi and now veers to the left and will mangle itself on the rock wall, then.... Photo: Tom Berg from ADPS video.
Out-of-control car has bumped the semi and now veers to the left and will mangle itself on the rock wall, then.... Photo: Tom Berg from ADPS video.

Maybe you saw it on the news late last week: A motorist doing some high-speed tailgating on an Interstate highway in Arizona lost control and crashed big time. She lost it when she swerved to avoid a matress that she didn't see in enough time because she was too close to the pickup just ahead. 

And what did she hit when she swerved to the right? A semitrailer, which wavered a bit from the impact but stabilized quickly. It was enough to cause her to lose control again, and.... Well, watch the Arizona Department of Public Safety video here.

Incredibly, the motorist was not injured at all when her car hit a rock wall to the left, rolled onto its roof and skidded to the right shoulder, because she was wearing her seat-and-shoulder belt. So she wasn't a complete idiot. An ABC News version of the video identifies her as a 23-year-old from Texas, and offers tips on tailgating vs. safe following. 

Aside from her altering her brainless behavior, how could the accident have been avoided? The pickup's driver should've seen her coming and pulled over to let her pass. Or he could've sped up, gotten around the semi and pulled to the right, or slowed down and then pulled in behind the semi and watch her zoom by. That's what I do.

Or the semi's driver could've slowed down and let both cars go by. But in no way am I blaming that guy. He pulled over as required and probably ran back to help. That's what truckers do. 

And ya know what? If either of the other drivers had done something different, this lady would've missed out on a life's lesson. 


  1. 1. Wayne [ August 09, 2016 @ 10:02AM ]

    The bottom line is the 4-wheeler should have never been tailgating in the first place------ end of discussion. You need to remind 4-wheelers that every day.Why don't they have continuing education classes on safety after a ticket or accident when their license is renewed? Maybe this would help?

  2. 2. Steve [ August 10, 2016 @ 09:43AM ]

    What type of Arizona Department of Public Safety vehicle did this video come from? Was it law enforcement of some kind? If it was, it seems like the official should have taken some action before the wreck happened by pulling over and citing the driver of the car. There was plenty of time for that to happen.

    No question the car driver made this entire incident happen and proper driver education as Wayne mentioned would be a step in the right direction.

    Also, vehicles being equipped with devices that monitor and provide following times to drivers would help. If you have never driven a vehicle with one you have no idea how much it changes your driving habits.

  3. 3. Jeff [ August 10, 2016 @ 06:46PM ]

    Went to college with this driver. She didn't learn a thing from this.

  4. 4. The Nomad [ April 27, 2017 @ 08:22AM ]

    Okay, the four wheeler driver was probably driving like a moron to get himself into that situation, but come on - "Mike" couldn't see him? In a right hand curve, MAYBE, but that's not four miles of right hand curve. My two million miles of trucking says "Mike" was either teaching the four wheeler a lesson, or was too oblivious to be out there. I'll defend a fellow trucker any time, but that's a little over the top!


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Author Bio

Tom Berg

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Senior Contributing Editor

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational and hybrid vehicles.


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