If you were in an accident with a truck, we absolutely recommend speaking with a truck accident lawyer! America’s truckers are crucial to getting goods across the states. But has the drive to keep store shelves stocked turned into danger on the highway? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, big trucks account for nearly half of all injuries and fatalities in occupational accidents (47.4 percent). Hundreds of runaway trucks slam into cars, obliterating anything they encounter and representing 1,282 deaths.
It’s devastating how people share such a sad connection to trucking, and February 9, 2022, saw such a connection. Around 5:45 am, the North Carolina Highway Patrol received a call about a crash on US Route 13 near NC37 in Gates County. Investigations confirmed a northbound car crossing over the centerline of US13 collided with a southbound tractor-trailer.
According to NC Highway Patrol, the vehicle driver, Michael Faulk, 41, died of his injuries. Commercial truck accidents often result in death and catastrophic injuries, with a substantial effect on the lives of victims and their families. Let’s explore further below.
Leading Causes in Commercial Trucking Accidents
Experts estimate every 15 minutes, a semi-truck accident results in deaths or severe injuries. As recently as April 18, 2022, troopers responded to calls regarding an accident on Buffalo Shoals Road near Little Mountain Road around 1:30 am. The initial investigation revealed a 2001 Mack logger truck ran off the road, colliding with several vehicles in an automotive repair lot.
In North Carolina, truckers must comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and state-specific laws that restrict speed limits for tractor-trailers and drug and alcohol use on the road. But what causes most of these tragedies?
- Speed driving
- Driver inattentiveness—Texting, emailing, or talking on a cell phone
- Driver exhaustion—Making cross-country trips without enough rest and sleep before the next trip.
- Drunk or drugged drivers—prescription medication
- Faulty brakes — Because of improper maintenance
Trucks take much longer to stop after colliding, and the damage is horrifying. As part of their commitment to reducing the number of highway crashes, the American Trucking Associations say they train and educate truck drivers on road safety.
The Definition of a Commercial Truck in North Carolina
Big rigs are not the only commercial vehicles on the road. Some tiny sedans and vans can pass for commercial vehicles in certain circumstances, as small buses can. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety suggests commercial trucks include;
- Business vehicles above 10,001 pounds of gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), including non-profit organizations and cross state lines.
- Single vehicles such as trucks, vans, and combinations of vehicles—a truck towing a trailer or other equipment — fall under a similar definition.
- Additional requirements also apply at 26,001 pounds and above GVWR (commercial driver’s license and drug and alcohol testing).
- Vehicles carrying hazardous materials and certain passenger vehicles are also classified as commercial vehicles, regardless of GVWR.
We Can Help You with any Commercial Trucking Accident Case
Commercial trucking accidents often result in death and catastrophic injuries. Harman Law has experience investigating and litigating commercial trucking accident cases. We offer legal representation in North Carolina that is aggressively intelligent and backed by experienced attorneys with a long history of representing clients.
Our firm will provide the injured victims with respect and compassion by fighting against the same insurance companies. Trust and confidence are essential to us, and we put in all our resources to get you everything you deserve. Start an Intake Form today to get started!