North Carolina is home to miles upon miles of major highways and interstates that connect major industries up and down the East Coast and beyond. With so many highways and so much commerce, it’s no surprise that North Carolina has a high number of commercial trucks — 18-wheelers, fuel trucks, gravel trucks, dump trucks, etc. — on the road at any given time.
Collisions are serious whenever any type of vehicle is involved, but that’s especially true whenever commercial trucks are involved, as their size and weight can cause more severe injuries and more serious damage to property.
What are the most common reasons for trucking accidents?
- Operator error: Truck drivers are under a lot of pressure to reach certain destinations in a short amount of time, and often their pay and bonuses are tied to how many miles they log. This often leads to distracted driving, driving while fatigued, or worse, driving under the influence of amphetamines or other stimulants to stay awake and alert.
- Trucks that are not properly maintained: Trucks that log thousands of miles every week need a lot more regular maintenance work than non-commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, not every trucking company makes sure their fleet is always up to par. This can lead to trucks breaking down, or something seemingly minor causing a major crash with injuries – or worse.
- Inclement weather: Truck drivers are supposed to be trained to drive in inclement weather, but if they’re not — or they’re ignoring their safety protocols in order to log more miles despite bad weather — the results can be deadly. Trucks take much longer to stop because of their size and weight, and when they don’t take proper precautions they can jackknife, hydroplane or hit other vehicles on the road.
- Improper cargo load: Just like the commercial truck itself is large and heavy, oftentimes so is the cargo inside the truck. That’s why cargo has to be loaded a certain way, to avoid having the weight of the cargo force open the truck and spill onto the road. No one wants to be driving behind a log truck that’s improperly loaded and snaps under pressure.
- Equipment failure: When it comes to trucks breaking down, it’s not always poor vehicle maintenance that’s to blame. Sometimes, truck part manufacturers are found negligent for creating faulty parts and products that end up breaking when installed and causing catastrophic crashes.
The stakes for accidents involving commercial trucks are much higher than crashes involving cars, as the injuries can be far worse and the damage much more costly. That’s why it’s crucial for you to hire an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Robert Armstrong’s office today for a consultation.