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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.

Daggett Shuler represented me for my workers’ compensation matter. Mr. Wilkie and his assistant, Sheila, walked me through this overwhelming process and were with me every step of the way. They were always concerned about how I was doing. They were professional throughout and did a great job walking me through and explaining what was happening at each step of my case. I was pleased with the outcome of my case and feel that they worked hard to obtain the best outcome for me.

Laurie Sawyer