Trucking accidents that occur in North Carolina and across the country often have more serious consequences than other motor vehicle accidents. This is because commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds while the average motor vehicle weighs 4,000 pounds. Trucking accidents may occur for many reasons; understanding these reasons and how to navigate them may help drivers avoid accidents.
Most commercial trucking accidents occur due to driver error. In most cases, however, the fault is that of the passenger vehicle driver and not of the commercial truck driver. A study by the American Trucking Association found that 81% of accidents involving driver error were caused by the passenger vehicle. Commercial truck drivers should receive regular defensive driver training to prevent these accidents from occurring.
Another common cause of trucking accidents is because of poor vehicle maintenance. The average truck driver drives over 130,000 miles per year. Over time, this causes maintenance issues in vehicles. Trucking companies must regularly maintain their fleet to keep them safe and secure while on the road. Equipment failure, such as worn brake pads, may make it difficult for a driver to stop in time, causing an accident to occur.
Trucking accidents can cause catastrophic injuries that may result in serious lifelong injuries and death. Trucking companies have the responsibility to properly train their drivers and regularly maintain their vehicles. When they don’t and an accident occurs, trucking companies may be responsible for damages to the injured parties. For example, a truck may have a cracked windshield that could impair a driver’s vision. If the driver isn’t able to see a vehicle in time to stop due to his or her impaired vision, an accident may occur. A lawyer may be able to file a suit against the trucking company for the negligence of maintaining the trucks properly.