Truck accidents are unfortunately common in North Carolina and the rest of the country, and they almost always end badly for those who were in a passenger vehicle. Big rigs, after all, weigh up to 80,000 pounds while the average car weighs 4,000 pounds. Drivers should be aware of the most common factors in truck crashes so that they can be more responsible on the road.
Drowsy and distracted truckers are behind many accidents in North Carolina and across the U.S. In 2017, a total of 4,102 people died in large truck crashes: a 28% increase from 2009. Of the fatalities, 17% were truck occupants whereas 68% were in passenger vehicles, and 14% were pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Despite the danger in having 80,000-pound trucks share the road with 3,000-pound cars, efforts to fights it have stalled.
Everyone knows that driving while distracted or drunk is dangerous. Items like cellphones or the effects of intoxication can significantly alter the attention and focus that drivers give to the roads they are traveling on. In North Carolina drivers can be penalized for engaging in these and other dangerous driving practices.
North Carolina drivers see them practically every time they merge onto the state's highways. Massive semis, oil tankers and other immense vehicles carry a multitude of goods across North Carolina and to locations far and wide. Without them, many of the products that individuals buy would be unavailable at their local retail outlets and it would take longer for people to receive the items that they both want and need.
Texting and driving is a dangerous practice because it takes a person's attention off of the road and places it on a small screen. In the time it takes a driver to pick up their smartphone and open a text, they may have run a red light, collided with another vehicle and caused themselves and others serious bodily injury.
Although North Carolina drivers may frequently see large trucks and commercial vehicles on local roads and highways, they may not be familiar with the numerous ways that those massive vehicles may pose dangers to them. Trucking accidents can be very serious for the passengers of the smaller vehicles affected by truck crashes and collisions. There are several ways that truck drivers and operators may be negligent and create dangerous hazards for other motorists.