Seatbelt (Rollover) 2

SUBJECT: ROLLOVER AND EJECTION WITH FATALITY

DATE: 09/30/2010

CRASH CASE NUMBER: 10012

REFERENCE: Rollover Prevention; TVS LCW 10008

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: LOSS CONTROL DEPARTMENT

How the Incident Occurred

Descending a gradual downhill curve to the left at highway speed, the truck driver was unaware that the left/rear trailer tandems were lifting off of the road surface. When he looked in the left mirror and realized what was happening, he attempted to counter steer but the trailer twisted violently and slammed the tractor to the pavement on the passenger side. As it slid down the right shoulder, the driver fell to the passenger side and the rushing pavement sucked him throughthe window. He was later found tangled in the catwalk.

Injury/Damage Information

  • The driver perished from injuries caused by the crushing weight of the rig.
  • The tractor, reefer trailer and full load of frozen food were declared total losses.

Causative factors

Root cause analysis determined that the ultimate cause of the rollover was driver inexperience and lack of situational awareness. The driver’s injuries would have been less severe had he worn his seatbelt and been able to remain inside the cab.

Equipment:

  • Truck/reefer trailer was fully loaded,
  • Brakes, tires, lights, steering and all major components functioning properly.
  • All vehicle inspections were current.
  • Seatbelt was functioning but not in use.

Environmental:

  • Weather was clear. Road surface was dry asphalt.
  • Dangerous left-hand curve was marked with rollover warning signs.
  • No other vehicles involved.
  • Truck rolled over on wide shoulder but did not make contact with guardrail.

Employee:

  • Driven with this company for one year after attending a 3-week driver training school.
  • Driver was on his third trip on this specific route.
  • Driver had no prior commercial driving experience and no history of moving convictions.
  • Driver handbook addressed rollover hazard but it was not discussed as a separate lesson in driving school nor during company orientation and training.

Remedial actions:

  • Ensure vehicle is safe and well maintained, particularly the brakes, tires and suspension system.
  • Understand the nature of the load, center of gravity of load, and ensure load is properly secured.
  • Complete a trip plan and to the extent possible know in advance types of roads to be traveled
  • Always wear your seat belt.