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Avoid Accidents: Be Aware of Tractor Trailers

June 24th, 2014 Tractor Trailer Accidents

Accidents involving big rigs happen often, resulting in many fatalities and thousands of injuries to drivers and their passengers. Just last week, North Carolina State Police closed the Eastbound lanes of Interstate-26 because of a horrible tractor trailer accident. Unfortunately, these types of accidents are all too common.

Daggett Shuler stresses the importance of safety while traveling alongside large trucks. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there has been a 20% increase in trucking accidents over the past two decades, leading to over 500,000 accidents annually. There are 5,000 fatalities a year linked to tractor trailer accidents with many more thousands of people are injured. The five most common causes of truck accidents are as follows:

1)  Truck Driver Error:  According to the FMCSA, driver error is ten times more likely to be the cause of a crash than any other factor. Driver fatigue, distractions and substance abuse are the most common causes of driver error.

2)  Weather Conditions:  Weighing upwards of 80,000 pounds, a loaded semi can outweigh the average passenger vehicle by more than 25 times. This means, due to their heavy load, trucks need to increase their braking distance in bad weather. Staying apprised of local weather patterns can assist the driver’s anticipation of breaking when needed.

3)  Truck Equipment Failure:  Defective tires and faulty reverse lights are examples of truck equipment failures. The FMSCA requires pre-trip inspections, as well as companies to perform routine inspections and maintenance throughout the year. Ignoring these guidelines leads to accidents.

4)  Improper Loading:  A truck can malfunction when moving if the load is not safely configured or distributed on the trailer. Improper loading can also lead to not being safely secured, resulting in the load falling off onto roadways.

5)  Truck Driver or Company Selection:  Shippers need to be diligent in background checks on drivers and companies to ensure the best delivery results. They should check each are compliant with FMSCA regulations.

When driving a passenger vehicle, there are several steps you can take to help ensure safe travels when on the road with tractor trailers.

–          Don’t tailgate or drive along side of trucks for too long.

–          Stay visible by being aware tractor trailers have much larger blind spots.

–          Leave more room for trucks to stop on wet roads.

–          Use caution when merging into traffic in front of trucks.

–          Pay attention to turn signals.

Daggett Shuler Injury & Disability Lawyers represent clients throughout the state of North Carolina in tractor trailer, motorcycle and car accidents and other serious accident cases. Our team is dedicated to representing the rights of individuals injured by the negligent conduct of others.

At Daggett Schuler, you can always speak with an attorney for FREE, and if we take your case, it is on a no-win, no-fee basis. So call us and speak with an experienced professional for free.  Call 1-800-815-5500 and we will provide the answers you seek.

You can depend on us.

After my car accident, the amount of paperwork became overwhelming and quite stressful to keep up with. I contacted Daggett Shuler and was immediately put at ease. The meeting was set up very promptly and we were told to not worry and let them handle the details.

Once the portal was set up, I received frequent updates. If I had questions that could not be addressed by email, I would receive a phone call. I never felt rushed or that my questions were not important.

Upon completion of my case, I felt that everything had been done to ensure a proper outcome of my situation. Everyone in the office is polite, respectful and professional. I would highly recommend Daggett Shuler. They made a difficult time in my life much easier to deal with.

Anna Kirstine