During 2011, over 9,000 motor vehicle accidents involved commercial trucks and buses, according to the University of North Carolina Highway Research Center. Large commercial vehicles such as 18-wheelers, garbage trucks and dump trucks account for a large number of traffic fatalities and severe injuries in the state of North Carolina.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that commercial trucks are more likely to be involved in fatal multiple-vehicle crashes than passenger vehicles. When a motor vehicle accident involves large trucks and passenger vehicles, over three-fourths of the fatalities are passenger vehicle occupants. While commercial trucks only account for four percent of all registered vehicles in the U.S., they make up eight percent of all fatal crashes.
Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
A tractor-trailer is an articulated vehicle that has a towing engine (tractor) and semi-trailer that carries cargo. These trucks are also known as big rigs, Mack trucks, and 18-wheelers. An 18-wheeler truck gets its name from the number of tires that are on the truck.
A number of factors can contribute to an 18-wheeler accident such as driver skill level, driver fatigue and defective truck equipment. Common sense should dictate that properly trained and licensed truckers would decrease the amount of truck accidents on North Carolina’s roads and highways. However, research done by the Federal Highway Administration found that the trucking industry has failed to adequately train new drivers. Listed below are some shocking results from the study:
- Less than one-third of new drivers of tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles are properly trained.
- Only 50 percent of large truck training courses offered at public and private schools are adequate in content and duration.
- Only ten percent of trucking companies offer sufficient training for their new drivers.
The Department of Transportation issued their Proposed Minimum Standards for Training Tractor-Trailer Drivers in 1984. Unfortunately, these standards were made voluntary instead of being mandatory. Under their proposal, truckers would have to go through 320 hours of instruction, with 50 percent of it being behind the wheel. At this current time truck drivers with a CDL license do not need on-the-road experience.
If you or loved one has been injured in an 18-wheeler accident, you may have grounds for legal action against the negligent party. Contact a knowledgeable North Carolina truck accident attorney to learn about the legal rights available to victims of 18-wheeler accidents.
For additional information about lawsuits regarding commercial truck accidents, complete the Free Case Review form.
Injuries Caused by 18-Wheeler Accidents
In 2011, more than 2,800 North Carolina truck accidents resulted in injuries. Listed below are some most common injuries caused by 18-wheeler accidents:
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
If your family member was killed in an 18-wheeler accident due to another party’s negligence, you may be eligible for financial and legal recourse.
To find out if your eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, fill out the contact form on the right-hand side of this page.
Filing a Truck Accident Lawsuit
Each year, thousands of people in North Carolina are injured in truck accidents. If you were injured in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Accidents victims in the Tar Heel state may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages and property damage. Injured individuals should contact an experienced attorney immediately after an accident. A knowledgeable attorney can assess your claim and advise you on the best course of action to purse.