Key Causes of Commercial Truck Crashes in North Carolina

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A close up of a commerical truck traveling down a North Carolina highway.

Even though traffic laws are meant to prevent accidents, there are many truck accidents in North Carolina annually. Severe injuries and fatalities are common outcomes of collisions involving semi-trucks and other heavy trucks. Driver error, excessive speed, driving while distracted, or poor vehicle maintenance by a trucking company are common potential causes of truck accidents. If you or a loved one have been injured by a commercial truck in North Carolina, do not hesitate to contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters’ today by calling (800) 529-0804 or contacting us online.

Commercial Truck Crashes

You need knowledgeable legal counsel if you were harmed in a commercial truck accident in North Carolina and want to pursue full compensation for your damages. The law offices of Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters,’ have defended the rights and interests of accident victims in North Carolina for generations.

Serving the community in North Carolina is a priority for our firm. We offer our clients the legal counsel they require to navigate trying circumstances. We will take the time to learn about you and your needs. If you need additional medical care, our law firm will assist you in finding a specialist to treat your injuries and set up car repairs and rentals. You may concentrate on your health because we will deal with the insurance company. We wish to relieve you of the burden of dealing with the aftermath of a significant vehicle accident.

For a free, no-obligation case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable truck accident attorneys, get in touch with our legal office immediately. We’ll review your legal options and the best way to make negligent parties like trucking companies accountable for your losses and injuries.

North Carolina’s Top 7 Truck Accident Causes

1. Driver Error

The most frequent factor contributing to commercial truck accidents is truck driver error. Driver mistake includes a wide range of careless actions, such as speeding, tailgating, failing to slow down when traffic conditions call for it, weaving through traffic, neglecting to check your mirrors before changing lanes, and driving while intoxicated. Any mistake made by a commercial truck driver on the road increases the chance of an accident and severe injury for the drivers and other people using the road.

2. Driver Exhaustion

One of the biggest concerns in the trucking industry is driver exhaustion. Truck drivers are behind the wheel for several hours each day, frequently for multiple days. Despite having a cap on the number of hours they can work, drivers might nevertheless grow worn out from working long shifts to complete deliveries on time. Particularly in danger of being involved in drowsy driving accidents are motorists who operate over the legal hours-of-service restrictions. A driver’s reaction times, perception, and judgment can be affected by fatigue. Drivers who are tired run the danger of nodding off behind the wheel.

3. Inadequate Vehicle Upkeep

The trucks that trucking businesses own and operate need to undergo routine maintenance. Unfortunately, if a trucking company chooses to put off maintenance in an effort to save money or reduce costs, mechanical problems might go unnoticed. Furthermore, even when routine maintenance is carried out on a truck, workers may erroneously create circumstances that could lead to mechanical failure while the truck is in motion.

4. Imbalanced Cargo

While a truck is driving, shifting cargo might alter the center of gravity and lead to an accident. Trucking businesses and drivers are responsible for ensuring that trucks and cargo trailers are loaded correctly. This includes ensuring that the cargo’s weight is spread equally and securing the cargo to prevent shifting while the truck is traveling. An effective cargo balance will keep a truck steady while it is traveling. The chance of the driver losing control of the vehicle increases when cargo is not balanced correctly or if a truck is loaded over its towing capacity, which may result in a jackknife accident, rollover accident, or other accident or collision.

5. Speeding

Another major factor in truck accidents in North Carolina is speeding. Truck drivers may speed to meet arbitrary delivery deadlines or to make up for time lost due to congested roads, bad weather, or construction. Trucks are much more difficult to navigate than smaller passenger vehicles and require much more space to slow down or stop. Speeding will drastically increase the space required for a truck driver to come to a safe stop. Therefore, speeding can make it difficult for a truck driver to react in time to a hazard or other condition on the road and prevent an accident. In addition, speeding increases the likelihood that a truck driver will lose control of the truck, especially on slick roads or when the truck needs to stop quickly.

6. Truck Error

Sometimes a mechanical failure that originates from a manufacturing flaw in the truck or a part utilized in the truck might cause an accident. For example, trucks frequently have problems with their brakes, tires, engines, or transmissions. The producer of the damaged truck part may be held financially responsible for the truck accident if an investigation indicates the part was defective.

7. Unacceptable Hiring Procedures by Trucking Companies

Some truck accidents in North Carolina can be related to trucking businesses either retaining a driver with a history of risky driving habits on the road or hiring drivers who lack the education and experience necessary to operate a commercial vehicle safely. Due to the lack of competent truck drivers in North Carolina and other states, some trucking businesses may be ready to overlook any red flags in a prospective recruit’s record or hire drivers who lack the required education or experience. Truck drivers might make mistakes or behave negligently in situations where they might have been prevented with proper supervision and training if trucking companies failed to train and monitor truck drivers properly.

What Is Considered a Commercial Truck?

A commercial vehicle is “any self-propelled or towed vehicle used on a roadway in interstate commerce to convey passengers or property when the vehicle.” A commercial truck will also meet the following criterion:

  • Weigh 10,001 pounds or more, whichever is greater, in terms of gross vehicle weight rating, gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight.
  • is intended for or used to compensate for transporting more than eight passengers (including the driver).
  • is designed for or used to carry more than 15 passengers, including the driver, without charging a fee to passengers
  • is utilized when moving materials that the Secretary of Transportation has determined to be hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and that must be placarded in accordance with rules established under 49 CFR, subtitle B, chapter I, subchapter C.

Therefore, there are a variety of factors that can identify a vehicle as a commercial vehicle. If you are ever in an accident, you should be aware of these factors. As long as the vehicle satisfies the aforementioned requirements, it doesn’t matter whether it is being driven, towed, or carrying passengers or cargo.

Truck Driving Negligence

The person operating the commercial vehicle may be considered negligent if they violate any of the rules of the road while driving. This is because disobeying the law can result in an accident, which can be quite dangerous.

To be on the road, equipment that satisfies the criteria of a commercial vehicle must have insurance, and it may also need to be protected by company insurance. Therefore, business owners must comprehend the coverage these insurance companies provide to take advantage of the necessary benefits.

Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured by a commercial truck, do not hesitate to contact an experienced commercial truck accident lawyer at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters,’ by calling (800) 529-0804 or contacting us online to schedule your case evaluation today. An experienced commercial truck accident lawyer will represent you in negotiations with the insurance company, explain your legal rights, respond to your inquiries, and seek the best possible outcome for your case. In addition, at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters,’ you owe us nothing unless we win.