A deadly truck crash emphasizes the need for tractor trailer drivers to pull off highways to perform break checks.

The horrible truth is that we’ve become so accustomed to hurling our 1.5 to 2 ton vehicles along highways at speeds in excess of 60 MPH, that we often forget the lethal force that belongs to our car or pickup. We regularly divide our attention between the road and an assortment of other distractions. With rhythmic regularity, inattention to the full time task of driving leads to tragedy. Absent mechanical failure or medical incapacitation of the driver, inattention seem to be the only logical explanation for crashing into a giant tractor-trailer pulled to the shoulder of a road, doing a required brake check. What was the pickup, or any part of it, doing in that lane?

On the other hand, what genius decided to place a brake check lane immediately adjacent to high speed traffic? It is well known that vehicles parked on highway shoulders create a hazard, as experience has consistently shown that shoulders are not positions of safety, and should never be used to stop a vehicle except in an emergency. Checking brakes is surely prudent, but not an emergency necessitating the check while the truck is in this known position of danger. Big rigs should be required to pull off the highway entirely for a brake check before entering long, steep downgrades. Provisions must be made for that activity to take place completely off the highway, in a safe area, and not in a brake check lane adjacent to the high speed traffic lanes.