Like most people in North Carolina, you likely see tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles on the roads, highways and freeways quite regularly. While it is understood that these big rigs are necessary to help move goods from one place to another, it is also normal that you might feel a bit uneasy about being too close to them. Accidents involving semi-trucks can be extremely serious in large part due to their size and weight.
North Carolina residents should be able to trust that people who hold commercial driving licenses take the responsibility to operate vehicles in a safe manner seriously. Unfortunately, the demands of business can push some truckers or trucking companies to limits that may create risks, such as when a person continues to drive when they are tired. Combatting trucker fatigue has been a focus for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and is why the agency instituted its Hours of Service rule.
If you feel uneasy anytime you find yourself driving near a semi-truck, you are not alone. Trucks, based on size and weight alone, pose a substantial threat to everyone else on the roadway, and the fact that many of today’s truck drivers are abusing drugs and alcohol makes sharing the road with these vehicles more dangerous than ever.
Large tractor trailers are a vital part of the American economic system and people depend on these massive vehicles to deliver much needed goods to all parts of the country. Yet the sheer size and weight of commercial vehicles makes them more dangerous to other drivers on the road. In 2017 alone, 4,657 people were killed in large truck accidents, which is an increase from the 4,251 people who were killed in similar accidents the year before, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is critical that all drivers understand the top causes of large truck accidents so they can minimize their risk of being involved in a catastrophic collision.
You are driving on the freeway, navigating the usual traffic. You enter the left lane to get to your destination as quickly as possible. But once you change lanes, you find that you are stuck behind a large tractor-trailer--and it is moving very slowly.