We can start by admitting the obvious point: Very often, truckers are to blame for highway accidents in North Carolina. Although commercial trucks are under the control of professional drivers with better-than-average safety records, even a highly skilled driver can make an error. Additionally, light trucks have become very popular as household vehicles, and sometimes their drivers do not have the skill level that the vehicle requires.
So what happens the next time you’re on the road and you notice the truck ahead of you weaving across lanes? You know that this could be due to any number of reasons:
- The driver may be intoxicated.
- The driver may be fatigued, or even asleep at the wheel.
- The truck’s steering system may be failing, and the driver may be trying to stop the vehicle before it crashes.
- The truck may be loaded unevenly, and the driver is doing his best to control the vehicle despite its shifting cargo.
- The road’s surface may be slick or oily, causing steering difficulties.
- There may be debris in the road, and the driver is maneuvering to steer around it.
The key point to make is that your response here can determine whether an accident occurs. When you see a truck having trouble, you can drive more defensively than usual and avoid a collision. Or you can say to yourself, “I have the right of way, and I have my own vehicle under control. If anything happens, it’s the truck driver’s fault.”
The second response might win you a moral victory, but it will be small comfort when you’re strapped to hospital gurney after the truck collision occurs.
Everyone can help prevent North Carolina truck collisions
Truck driver negligence can establish conditions for a Wilmington traffic accident—so can negligence on the part of the truck’s maintenance crew, repairmen, and loading crew. But that doesn’t necessarily mean an accident is inevitable.
Everyone on the road should be alert for those few, precious seconds in which alertness can make up for another driver’s errors and prevent a collision from occurring. A narrow escape from an accident is far better than even a minor vehicle crash. It’s time to revive the idea of driving defensively—to routinely anticipate the errors the other guy might make. This is especially important when you are sharing the road with a truck because the large mass of a truck means any collision is likely to inflict severe injuries on your vehicle’s passengers.
You should know the best safety practices when driving near trucks on North Carolina highways:
- Don’t tailgate.
- Be aware of the truck’s larger blind spots, and stay out of them.
- Don’t cut in front of a truck.
- Big trucks make big turns. Don’t try to pass a truck that’s turning; it may already be using some of your lane.
- When you choose to pass a truck, do so quickly. Don’t linger to the side of a truck. Pass on the left, if possible, because the blind spot on the right of the truck is relatively larger.
- If a trucker is driving aggressively or erratically, stay away.
When safety precautions fail
Sometimes even expert drivers can’t react fast enough to compensate for a truck driver’s error. In that case, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries and other losses due to the negligence that caused a North Carolina truck accident.
The personal injury attorneys at Speaks Law Firm in Wilmington have deep experience in recovering the maximum available award on behalf of clients injured in truck accidents. Call them at 910-341-7570 locally or toll-free at 877-593-4233 to schedule a FREE evaluation of your case by a lawyer.
The Speaks Law Firm represents personal injury clients throughout the Wilmington, North Carolina area, including Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Murraysville, Ogden, Myrtle Grove, Delco, and Hampstead.