Accidents involving large trucks are far more dangerous than smaller vehicle accidents for one obvious reason – the sheer size of the truck means injuries are often severe or even fatal.
There are other differences between cars and truck accidents, namely:
- Maneuverability – It’s just so big. That’s why it can’t swerve as quickly to miss a deer on the highway, and it needs more than twice the distance of a car to complete a turn. And when it does turn abruptly, it runs the risk of “jackknifing” into a V shape.
- Stopping distance – It’s pretty simple, according to physics: the bigger the vehicle, the more difficult it is to stop it once it’s moving. If another car or truck stops suddenly in front of a big rig, the chances it will be able to stop in time to avoid a crash are greatly diminished. Experts say while it takes a car just more than 300 feet to stop when it’s traveling 65 miles per hour, a large truck can take over 520 feet to come to a stop.
Because there are so many additional responsibilities involved in driving a big rig, it’s important that truck drivers are highly trained and adhere to federal truck driving regulations, including the number of hours they drive consecutively, the number of hours they work in a week, and many, many more.
In 2014, 97 percent of the 3,600 deaths from truck accidents were passengers in a car.
What are some safety tips for dealing with big trucks?
Here are a few ways you can stay safe around semis:
- Don’t cut off trucks.
- Make sure they have lots of room to stop.
- Always pass on the left side of a truck instead of the right side. The blind side on the right is much bigger.
- Try to stay out of their blind spots.
What are the rules for truck drivers in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, truck drivers must adhere to both Federal and State guidelines designed to combat driver fatigue, since driver fatigue is often the cause for such serious or deadly crashes involving large trucks.
Truckers in North Carolina also are responsible for the following crucial things:
- Regular truck maintenance
- Keeping detailed record logs, which include noting the number of hours they are driving and the number of hours they are resting.
However, not all truck drivers follow the strict laws that govern the trucking industry, and trucking companies are often multi-million dollar companies with huge liabilities.