Series of big rig crashes raises concerns

FRESNO, Calif. - The Central Valley has seen four large big rig collisions all within one week. One in Atwater, one in Chowchilla
and two Friday morning, one involving a hay truck, the other a train.

With so many tragic and fatal crashes all within one week involving big rigs and with Memorial Day Weekend being the most traveled of the year, CHP Public Information Officer Johnny Fisher said almost 100 percent of these crashes are preventable.

There's no answer to why these crashes happened so close together.

"It's dangerous all over the Central Valley but especially with big rigs. It's not necessarily a trend or anything, it's just certain incidents tend to happen all at once," he said.

One problem highway patrol sees with these types of trucks recently is truck drivers using the wrong lanes.

"These drivers are in the fast lane. We are trying all we can as far as 'move over,'" said Fisher.

He said there are five major causes of almost all crashes, car or truck. To prevent any of these accidents, drive as if others can't see you.

"The main reasons are, speed, unsafe lane change, distraction, DUI, and lastly these occur from sleepiness while driving. They don't see you, so be seen, always pass to the left," said Fisher.

A1 Truck Driving School Owner Roger Gill said high demand for goods places pressure on truck drivers.

"They're not focused on the traffic they're focused on the destination and the time. Log books gets them," he said.
So, Gill trains his drivers to stay alert and stay safe.

"Be serious. Don't take it lightly. It can be just a blink of an eye. Be very careful every minute you share the road with others," said Gill.

Gill's student Prab Sangh said it's not just being a truck driver that's a full time job, but any type of driver.

"It's a big risk. You take a lot of big things around you all of the times. If anything happens it blows away. You have to be careful," he said.

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