Trailer Talk

Truck Driver 'Didn't Know' He Was Dragging a Car

Blog Commentary by Tom Berg, Senior Contributing Editor

April 26, 2017

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To paraphrase an often-seen slogan on the rear of trailers, "If you can see my mirror, I should be able to see you." Images: Inside Edition
To paraphrase an often-seen slogan on the rear of trailers, "If you can see my mirror, I should be able to see you." Images: Inside Edition

Picture yourself driving on a freeway, highway, city street, or any kind of roadway. You’re watching the traffic ahead, sure. You also scan right and left, checking the side-view mirrors as your mind follows your eyes. No matter what kind of vehicle you’re driving, that’s the drill. See anything that you should react to?

The driver of this double-bottom rig, northbound on Interstate 15 in San Bernardino County, California, apparently saw nothing in the mirror just a couple feet from his face. He didn’t see a car that had gotten entangled on the second trailer's rear end and was being dragged along the pavement. The car’s rear tires were flat and were being ground down by friction from the unforgiving concrete.

The motorist, who had gotten himself into quite a pickle, was waving frantically.

The errant motorist has really gotten himself into a pickle because, no, "He's not stopping." 
The errant motorist has really gotten himself into a pickle because, no, "He's not stopping."

Another motorist came upon the scene and, incredulous, began shooting video with his cell phone (Inside Edition, a news-entertainment TV show, played it one day last week). He said the truck continued on for four miles!

Later, we'll see that the front of the car seems to have been pulled under the trailer’s corner by the spinning left-rear tires, which had become an impromptu tow hook. 

It appears the car has been pulled up under the trailer's corner by its spinning tires. Like many truck-car accidents, the car's driver seems to be at fault. But still....
It appears the car has been pulled up under the trailer's corner by its spinning tires. Like many truck-car accidents, the car's driver seems to be at fault. But still....

Wouldn’t the truck driver feel the extra drag from behind, and hear the engine working harder to maintain speed? Sure, he was on an upgrade, heading for Cajon Pass, but still. 

We can also see that the rig is composed of a couple of outside-frame flatbeds with sides, and is probably hauling freshly picked tomatoes or some other produce under its tarps, a familiar sight in California. The rig is clean and seems to be well-maintained, so you’d think its driver is also sharp. Yet he doesn’t stop.

Asked about the car jammed into his rear trailer, the trucker lamely explains, "I didn't know it." 
Asked about the car jammed into his rear trailer, the trucker lamely explains, "I didn't know it."

This has been going on a while, and the car is not hidden behind the trailer, but is hanging off its left corner, in plain sight. The truck driver doesn’t see it? Good lord!

The camera guy pulls ahead and finally gets the trucker to pull over. He is surprised when told that he’s been dragging a car and lamely explains, “I didn’t know it.” Duh!

Might some remedial training by the driver's boss be in order here? Might “Mike,” the name on the door and presumably that of the driver, be encouraged to engage his brain when he's engaged top gear? We can hope so.

Comments

  1. 1. LorieJ [ April 27, 2017 @ 05:55AM ]

    You should be ashamed writing a blog with this content. I see nowhere in your credentials does it say you were a truck driver. Only a journalist and one who performs road tests. Unless you were in the seat or ever in a truck pulling 2 trailers up Cajon Pass, please do not assume what a driver can or cannot see.

  2. 2. Paul [ April 27, 2017 @ 09:57AM ]

    Sorry Lorie...I DO drive a truck and if this driver was so mentally lame that he didn't know he was dragging a car IN HIS PLAIN SIGHT, he needs to be removed from the truck and not be allowed again to drive anything bigger than the car he was dragging! This is probably the same driver that passed me on Hwy 395 (I had a big oversized load) that waited til the very end of the passing lane to pass and I had to hammer the brakes when he cut in front of me....it was the same company! No excuse for driving like that in either case!

  3. 3. Steve [ May 01, 2017 @ 03:21AM ]

    I hardly ever look in my mirrors on Cajon Pass because there's too many things happening in front of you. And if you use a little higher I.Q., you"ll realize what caused the car to crash into the back of that truck was that driver was looking in his mirror and not ahead at the more vital situation. CASE CLOSED.

  4. 4. Steve [ May 01, 2017 @ 05:20AM ]

    YES ! Good Lord ! How does the writer of this article Not See ?! The truck is going around a right curve which puts his mirror facing one lane over to the left. He can probably see the car with the camera who is one lane to the left over,but can not,of course see the car that hit him. He also has his tarps and straps in his mirror blocking full view. My question for the writer is this; You have 4 eyes and still can't see ?

  5. 5. Dave [ May 01, 2017 @ 05:24PM ]

    Wow, I cannot believe for 1 second that no matter the road, terrain, that the driver or any driver for that matter would not scan and "see" what's in his mirrors rather than just look. If that's what this driver did. Before you ask, I do drive, have safely driven over 30 years.

 

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Author Bio

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Tom Berg

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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