Aps Driver Made Common Mistake


Rev. Olin Adams Sept. 14 letter to the editor spreading blame to APS and ADOT for a fatal truck/auto accident on Highway 260 is a bit far fetched.

The primary blame for the accident was brought out by a blood test of the truck driver. The secondary blame goes to the truck driver for not doing the right thing when the right wheels of his truck went off the pavement.

What this driver did is incorrectly known as "over-correction." What (this) driver did incorrectly is a common cause of single-car rollovers and head-on crashes along two-lane highways.

A driver that allows the right wheels of his vehicle to go off the highway pavement and then yanks the steering wheel to the left to bring the vehicle back onto the pavement places the right wheel of the vehicle perpendicular to the direction of travel.

Depending on the speed of the vehicle, this sudden lurch can yank the hands from the steering wheel or so startle the driver that they instantly overreact with the steering wheel, causing total loss of control.

The correct thing to do when the right or left wheels go off the shoulder is to stay off the pavement and go straight ahead. Immediately take your foot off the accelerator and tap your brakes lightly to slow the vehicle. Then put it back onto the pavement. This may slow up traffic behind you, and it may mean hitting a couple of reflector posts. The alternative is a possible rollover or head-on crash.

Dave Engleman, Payson

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