Trucking accidents can result in severe injuries, property damage, and loss of life. North Carolina, known for its busy highways and transportation routes, is familiar with such accidents. Identifying the common causes of these incidents can provide insights into areas that require improvement and contribute to the creation of safer roads for all.
Driver fatigue is a major factor contributing to trucking accidents. Truck drivers often work extended hours, sometimes surpassing the federally regulated limits. Fatigue negatively affects a driver’s decision-making abilities, delays their response time, and raises the chances of errors and accidents. Insufficient rest breaks, demanding schedules, and employer pressure are factors that contribute to driver fatigue.
Speeding excessively and engaging in reckless driving behaviors are major contributors to trucking accidents. In order to meet delivery deadlines, some truck drivers may go beyond the speed limit, jeopardizing safety. In 2021 alone, there were 424 fatalities attributed to speeding-related crashes in the state. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, speeding played a role in approximately 25 percent of all fatal accidents.
Moreover, aggressive driving actions like abrupt lane changes, tailgating, and improper overtaking can result in devastating accidents.
Distracted driving is an increasingly worrisome problem on North Carolina’s roadways, affecting truck drivers as well. Engaging in activities like using cell phones, eating, drinking, or any other distractions can lead to serious consequences. Even a brief moment of inattention can result in a truck driver losing control and causing an accident.
It is the duty of trucking companies to ensure their vehicles are well-maintained. Neglecting routine inspections, delaying repairs, and failing to address mechanical issues promptly can result in equipment failures during transportation. Problems such as malfunctioning brakes, tire blowouts, or faulty steering mechanisms can lead to severe accidents.
Maintaining the stability and balance of a truck relies on correctly loading and securing the cargo. Negligent loading practices, such as improper load distribution or overloaded cargo, can result in an unstable truck that is more susceptible to tipping over. Cargo that is inadequately secured can also shift during transit, leading to accidents and creating dangerous road conditions.
Driving a truck while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a major contributor to trucking accidents. Intoxicated truck drivers experience impaired judgment, reduced coordination, and slower reaction times. Operating a large commercial vehicle while under the influence not only puts the driver at risk but also poses a significant danger to other individuals on the road.
In 2019, according to Responsibility.org, North Carolina reported a total of 323 fatalities caused by alcohol-related driving incidents. During the same year, there were 11,639 arrests made for driving under the influence (DUI) in the state.
North Carolina encounters different weather conditions, such as heavy rain, fog, and snow. These adverse weather conditions can have a substantial impact on the safe operation of trucks. Challenges arise from reduced visibility, slippery roads, and decreased traction, making it difficult for truck drivers to maintain control of their vehicles. Failing to adjust driving behavior and adapt to changing weather conditions can lead to accidents.
At Tatum & Atkinson, PLLC, we understand how devastating trucking accidents can be and what causes them. Our team is ready to help you seek justice if you or someone you care about has been hurt in a trucking wreck. Reach out to us today to set up an appointment by calling Tatum & Atkinson, PLLC, the Heavy Hitters, at 1-800-529-0804. We’re here to support you and fight for what’s right.