Accidents involving 18 wheelers are dangerous and potentially fatal to the truck drivers and other motorists on the roads. There are a number of factors which contribute to the cause of these accidents. Driver fatigue, error and negligence are major causes of trucking accidents. Distracted drivers, drunk drivers, sleepy drivers, and inexperienced drivers are another cause of accidents.
Failure to maintain the trucks and trailers in good condition are another cause of trucking accidents. Drivers are required to regularly do a pre-trip inspection on their truck and trailer to ensure that they are safe to operate. Many drivers short on time sometimes skip this procedure and end up driving improperly maintained and dangerous vehicles on the roads.
AN INEXPERIENCED truck driver who killed a fellow truckie and crippled another man in a horrendous freeway smash has been banned from the roads for two years.
Daniel James Walsh, 32, of Victoria, faced the Adelaide Magistrates Court today.
He had previously pleaded guilty to two aggravated counts of driving without due care, as well as multiple breaches of trucking industry regulations.
On October 12, 2010, Walsh drove his prime mover down the final part of the South Eastern freeway too fast
Travelling at speeds in excess of 100km/h, Walsh was unable to get the truck into low gear and ignored signage pointing toward two arrester beds.
His vehicle smashed through a bush shelter, killing truckie John Posnakidis and permanently disabling car driver Daniel Ward.
Mr Ward was changing the tyre on his wife’s car, while Mr Posnakidis was fixing his own prime mover.
He had pulled on to the side of the freeway, out of the path of traffic, after it broke down.
In a victim impact statement today, Christina Posnakidis said her brother’s emphasis on safety had placed him in Walsh’s path.
“He was just 15 minutes from his home, his children, his family – but he always put safety first,” she said.
“We are here today because John did not put anyone’s life at risk (by driving a broken-down truck).”
Her sister Sue said the family bore Walsh no ill-will and did not consider him wholly responsible for the incident.
She said trucking companies needed “to be accountable” for the training of their drivers and maintenance of their vehicles.
“In a way, Walsh is a victim too,” she said.
“If he’d known what an arrester bed was, we would not be here today.”
Fighting tears, Walsh read two apologies to the court – one for the Posnakidis family, the other for Mr Ward. Read more here:
Overturned, twisted 18 wheeler truck & trailer