Truck accidents are easily the most deadly crashes on North Carolina highways. The sheer size and potential for jack-knifing when accidents occur makes them particularly catastrophic mishaps. Standard automobiles and SUVs cannot provide ample protection when 18-wheelers are involved in a collision, and recent statistics regarding fatalities bear this scenario out.
Fatality statistics involving big-rigs
2009 produced the lowest number of fatalities in the U.S. due to truck accidents than any of the following 10 years. Fatalities for 2019 were actually approximately 67% higher than that year. There were just over 3000 fatal truck accidents in 2009 compared to over 4500 in 2019. This reveals an alarming trend, and North Carolina experiences more than the state’s fair share of these deadly motor vehicle accidents.
Causes of truck accidents
Truck accidents happen for a wide variety of reasons, including driver error by those other than the truck operator. Truck drivers are actually professional drivers that must know all of the rules of the road in their industry. However, many times they are forced to drive long hours even with limitations in place due to delivery deadlines. The driver may be running on little rest by order from their shipping company, and even the best drivers can make mistakes when fatigued. Distractions can also play a part in motor vehicle accidents involving trucks as well even when trucks are equipped with hands-off communications technology and speed governors.
Truck accidents do not always happen due to the fault of any driver. Sometimes they occur due to being overloaded by the shipping contractor or improperly loaded flatbeds that can allow cargo to shift or even fall off of the bed. This is relatively rare, but it does happen on occasion.
All drivers in North Carolina should be aware that the state uses the antiquated contributory negligence law that restricts any injured driver from being compensated even if they are only 1% at fault for the incident.