How to Avoid Trucking Accidents On North Carolina Roads
Trucking accidents can have devastating consequences for the occupants of passenger vehicles, but there are steps drivers can take to improve their safety.
Unfortunately, collisions involving large trucks and passenger vehicles are all too common on the roads throughout North Carolina. In fact, the state's Department of Transportation reported that there were more than 3,400 accidents involving semitrailers in 2013 alone. Due to the size differences between the vehicles, such collisions often result in serious injuries, or death, for the occupants of passenger vehicles. While not all trucking crashes can be avoided, there are steps that drivers can take to reduce their odds of being involved in these types of accidents.
Use Caution When Passing
It is obvious to most motorists that tractor trailers are much larger and longer than the average passenger vehicle. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety points out that it can take drivers a half mile to safely pass these large trucks. Therefore, it is advisable for motorists to use caution when passing commercial vehicles. They should not rush, and should ensure that they have plenty of clear roadway in front of them to safely pass semitrailers and merge back into their lanes.
Allow Large Trucks a Wider Berth
Due to their size and longer wheel bases, large trucks require more room to maneuver and turn than other vehicles. As a result, truckers may have to merge into the lanes to their left in order to make some right turns. Drivers should be aware of this, and refrain from trying to squeeze in between these vehicles and the curb or other automobiles. This may help avoid some serious semitrailer accidents.
Avoid Suddenly Slowing or Stopping
According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, fully loaded tractor trailers can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Due to their size and weight, these vehicles require significantly more stopping distance than passenger cars, trucks and SUVs. In ideal conditions, large trucks traveling at 55 mph need about 430 feet to stop.
Consequently, truckers may not be able to adjust and stop in time to avoid a collision if drivers suddenly slow or stop in front of them. Thus, it is recommended that people be attentive to the road conditions and take precautions to avoid unexpectedly stopping when driving in front of a semitrailer.
Stay Out of the No-Zones
Large trucks have sizeable blind spots on all sides. Truckers are generally not able to see motorists who are in these blind spots, or no-zones. Therefore, it is advisable that motorists refrain from lingering in these areas. When a vehicle is in a truck's blind spot, the trucker may not be able to take evasive actions to avoid dangerous situations that might arise on the roads. Additionally, they may unintentionally move into a vehicle if they do not see that they are there.
Seeking Legal Guidance
Should a tractor trailer wreck occur despite drivers taking precautions to avoid them, then it is likely that those involved will suffer serious injuries. Litigation with trucking companies is unique and complex. You should consult with an experienced attorney who has handled these type cases for years.
If you are an unfortunate victim of a trucking collision, please call the Rhine Law Firm, P.C. at (910) 772-9960 or (866) 772-9960 for a free consultation.
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