North Carolina motorists are likely aware that tractor trailers pose a big threat to passenger vehicles. There is some good news to report in that deaths during the transportation of freight across the United States declined by nearly 24 percent between 2000 and 2015. Unfortunately, there are still roughly 4,000 deaths annually caused by collisions involving big trucks. While there are about 10 times that amount caused by other traffic incidents, improving safety around commercial motor vehicles remains a huge priority for regulators and law enforcement across the country.
Statistics show that most collisions between cars and trucks are the fault of the passenger car driver and that taking a few precautions can dramatically reduce the risks of having a wreck when sharing the road with big rigs. Because a tractor trailer can outweigh a car by over 75,000 pounds, a great deal of deference should be given to trucks on the roadway.
Avoiding blind spots is key when driving near trucks. Even with an array of mirrors and large windows, blind spots exist up to 20 feet in front of a truck, up to 30 feet behind it, and immediately adjacent to and just behind the cab of the truck extending up to two lanes over. Motorists should not ride in these spots and move quickly through them when passing. After passing, a motorist should make sure that the truck is visible in the mirror before merging. Maintaining a safe distance is also key to limiting risk. Driving next to and closely behind a truck puts a driver at risk in the event of a blowout or other traffic emergency requiring a lane change or sudden stop. Avoiding distractions is even more important around trucks, so focus on driving is paramount.
Any time there is a collision involving a big truck, there is great risk for severe injury or death. Consulting an experienced truck accident lawyer might help victims and their families get full and fair compensation for any damages sustained because of negligent truckers.