VIDEO: Reader’s warning after crash

By: Cobey Bartels

Owner//Driver reader James Rudd send in an in-cab video giving road users an important message that could save their life


James, an owner-operator who runs NSW-based Moonlight Express Transport, filmed the video response after he was involved in an accident on 13 August.

It happened when he went to change lanes on the Great Western Highway at Minchinbury, thankfully running unloaded at the time.

"Basically I wanted to merge into my left lane, so I’ve indicated and checked the mirrors," James says.

"There was a little one car me that wanted to sneak up, he spotted my indicator and backed off.

"So I’ve merged over…next thing I hear a bang."

At this point James started to pull over, not sure if he’d blown a steer tyre or hit something.

"I thought I’d blown my front tyre, my steer tyre," he says.

"It wasn’t until I saw in my own blind spot another set of headlights there.

"As I pulled up, I looked down over my steering wheel and there’s a car."

James, traumatised by what he was seeing, did his best to comfort the car driver who was thankfully uninjured.

"I backed up a bit and all I could see on the driver’s side of her vehicle were four indents from my bullbar."

"I was shaken; the experience of it wasn’t a nice feeling.

"I tried to comfort the lady and I kept saying to her, ‘I’m so sorry’.

"She said to me, ‘I didn’t even know what happened’."

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When they got talking and the driver asked James who was at fault, he said it’d surely be the truck’s fault – commenting on how much motorists dislike trucks and consider them 'eye-sores'.

Much to James’ surprise the driver responded saying, "my husband drives trucks and without you guys we wouldn’t get fed."

After the accident James was cleared to drive on, but decided to film the video as an important blind-spot awareness message for drivers.

"We just can't see you if you’re on that left side hovering next to our passenger wheel - you’re in our blind spot.

"If you see a truck and you’re on the left side of it, get in front of it or get out of its way.

James thinks it needs to start with learner drivers, who he says aren’t educated enough around heavy vehicle blind spots.

"I’ve always had the belief that when you’re learning to drive, there should be some education to put you inside a truck and show you blind spots," he explains.

"I try to educate all my friends and family, I tell them not to hover next to trucks, but we also need to focus on the learner drivers."

After driving trucks for ten years accident-free, James says as truck drivers this is something that can happen to any of us and urges fellow drivers to be extra vigilant.

"Just check, always overly check and even back off the go pedal a bit if you have to - If anything is there, they’ll get a chance to move.

"I’m now overly cautious because it’s just so easy to do and I’m affected now by what happened.

"I'm just happy it wasn't worse."

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