A driver friend of mine called me and asked a question in regards to a situation which happened recently on the highway. This driver was passed by another semi-truck and noticed that one of the tires on the trailer was shredding and coming apart. The only thing left on the tire was the side walls as the tread was gone. My friend back off away from the truck as the fear from this tire failure could have major implications for someone on the highway. My driver friend was speaking with an individual who is involved with safety for another carrier. He asked my friend “why didn’t you call 911?” My friend was discussing this situation with me and asked me what would I have done under these circumstances. I would have first tried to contact the driver of the semi on the CB radio. Also, if no response was given and if it was safe, I then would have pulled alongside of the truck in order to get the attention of the driver. If that also failed, I would contact drivers who were directly around us to see if they could attempt to convey the message to the driver. I cannot honestly say that I would have called 911 myself in this particular situation.
It just so happens that the very next day, I had a similar situation to contend with myself. I was driving along when I noticed a semi pulling a flatbed trailer with dunnage which was unsecured. The dunnage was stored behind the landing gear legs and was sliding out and sticking approximately 1.5 feet beyond the edge of the trailer. I was beside his truck and signaled that he had a problem and he nodded in acknowledgement. The problem was that this driver never stopped to do anything about the issue. I warned other drivers on the CB for them to get his attention and be aware themselves of this dangerous situation at hand. The question of when to call 911 was stirring in my thoughts. Just then, a State Trooper came by and I thought surely he would notice and do something. Unfortunately, he didn’t. Shortly, another driver managed to get his attention and I watched as the truck and flatbed pulled off an exit to take care of this problem. I would say we traveled over 30 miles trying to get the driver to understand what was going on with his shipment.
In closing, the question still remains... how quickly do we call 911 when there is an issue on the highway related to our fellow drivers? As drivers, we realize there are penalties for safety violations however public safety and our own safety are all at stake when we come upon a dangerous situation on the highway. How far would you go to get involved or would you just mind your own business?