North Carolina residents depend on large commercial trucks to carry essential products and goods across the state and around the country. Driving around these large vehicles can prove to be dangerous when passenger vehicles and trucks do not share the road properly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,608 people were killed in large truck accidents nationwide in 2011, 118 of those accidents were in North Carolina.
Earlier this year, a Texas truck driver was charged with intoxication manslaughter for driving his commercial truck while intoxicated and causing an accident, resulting in the death of a 48-year-old man. USA Today reports that four more people were killed in Arizona when a semi-truck jackknifed and caused a bus to flip over. Stories like these occur across the country on a daily basis. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety has implemented the Operation TACT program, in an attempt to lower the number of large truck fatalities that occur across the state.
Tips for driving safe around large trucks
In North Carolina, any driver who is seen driving negligently around large trucks will be ticketed, according to the NC Department of Public Safety. Cars that drive aggressively around big rigs are responsible for causing two out of three collisions between trucks and cars. Here are some ways that motorists can drive safe around commercial trucks.
- Don't follow too closely behind a large truck. A high-profiled truck can make it hard to see what is going on up ahead and the driver may have to stop quickly.
- Always pass a truck on the right hand side, and do so quickly. Truck drivers have a large blind spot known as the 'no zone' and drivers should try to stay clear of that area whenever possible.
- Never cut off a truck. According to Edmunds.com, trucks take three times longer than cars to make a complete stop. Pulling in front of a truck may cause them to slam on their brakes, which may cause an accident.
- Give the truck room to turn. Trucks often need to make wide turns, especially if they have several trailers attached.
- Adjust driving for inclement weather conditions. Be sure to slow down and drive extra defensively when weather conditions bring snow, rain, fog and ice.
Contacting an attorney
People who are involved in large truck accidents may suffer from emotional trauma, extensive injuries and property damage. They may be forced to take time off of work due to physical injuries, which can make it hard to pay for accumulating medical expenses. Partnering with a knowledgeable attorney can help to maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve for your case.