Bad decisions, on simple issues, are all too frequently the cause of death, injury or other tragedy on our roadways. In a tragic example of this simple principle, the California Highway Patrol reported recently that two people lost their lives died in March, 2013 in a fiery collision on Interstate 80 reportedly caused by a big-rig driver who briefly lost consciousness while choking on food.
This preventable, fatal accident makes plain the significant hazard which is created when drivers focus or divide their attention from the primary task of driving their vehicle. Drivers of big rigs, pressed for time or deadlines, are all too often tempted to eat while they drive. However, doing so is extremely dangerous. It ties their hands from being available for use on the controls; distracts attention from the formidable task of controlling the 80,000 lb vehicle they are operating, and can lead to other consequences – like choking.
Hopefully the lives lost at the hands of this irresponsible trucker will motivate other commercial drivers to at least pull over for the five minutes it takes to eat their sandwich.