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Dash Cam of the Week: ‘insane car driver’

Jan. 29, 2016
Road rage? Swoop and squat? Attempted hijacking? Frankly, we’re not sure. Still, we’re posting this video, as with all of our Dash Cam of the Week clips, as a reminder to truckers to be careful out there—because we’ve seen a lot of similar incidents lately.

Road rage? Swoop and squat? Attempted hijacking? Frankly, we’re not sure. Still, we’re posting this video, as with all of our Dash Cam of the Week clips, as a reminder to truckers to be careful out there—because we’ve seen a lot of similar incidents lately.

The little information we do have comes from the comments that accompany the YouTube upload. The trucker apparently had just come out of the security gate with his load and was merging onto the freeway in Columbus, OH, when the clip begins. He insists he had done nothing to provoke the car to pull in front and brake hard in the middle of the road, subsequently refusing to let the truck pass.

Then, not quite two minutes in, the car takes a split in the freeway and the truck, at the last second, follows. The truck driver explained this was not an exit, but a freeway interchange—and he needed to get to I-70 East. He had delayed his turn hoping the car would go the other way.

And why didn’t he call for police assistance? The truck driver said his cell phone slid onto the floor on the passenger side when he initially had to slam on the brakes. He noted that at two different points he had tried to get the attention of law enforcement.

Be advised, truckers, that watching the all 10 minutes of this dash cam capture will become an exercise in aggravation: For mile after mile, the four-wheeler moves to block the truck’s every lane change. The good news is that the other guy finally gives up and speeds away (but not before almost taking out another tractor-trailer with a last-second reentry from an off-ramp).

In showing the video to other professional drivers and even a fleet safety manager, the takeaways are roughly:

Do not stop. Nothing good is going to happen by pulling over at night on the freeway. And getting the truck to exit the freeway could be the four-wheeler’s intention. Otherwise, while the evasive maneuvers were questionable—simply turning on the truck’s flashers and maintaining the lane would have been the safer option—the truck driver did show some patience and kept about his business. But involving the unwitting fellow trucker at the end of the clip could have created trouble, if there had been an accident.

Also, and it’s Monday morning quarterbacking here, the trucker might have been better served to let the car go and to take the long way around at the freeway split. Still, there’s no guarantee the car driver would have stayed with his choice.

Do make sure the dash cam is recording and the footage will be saved. Some units will activate based on an event such as hard braking or sharp turns, but the system may only store a limited amount of the footage just before and after the incident unless the driver manually overrides it.

Finally, the fleet safety manager pointed out that his company would never give a driver permission to post a dash cam incident to the internet.

Are we missing something? Your thoughts?

(Next week: the right and wrong ways to remove snow from a trailer.)

About the Author

Kevin Jones | Editor

Kevin has served as editor-in-chief of Trailer/Body Builders magazine since 2017—just the third editor in the magazine’s 60 years. He is also editorial director for Endeavor Business Media’s Commercial Vehicle group, which includes FleetOwner, Bulk Transporter, Refrigerated Transporter, American Trucker, and Fleet Maintenance magazines and websites.

Working from Little Rock, Kevin has covered trucking and manufacturing for 15 years. His writing and commentary about the trucking industry and, previously, business and government, has been recognized with numerous state, regional, and national journalism awards.

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