time to investigate

When a North Carolina truck accident causes a loss of life or serious injuries, litigation often results. Sometimes, it is clear how the accident happened and who was at fault. In such cases, the primary argument is not liability but instead how much compensation is due the victims.

Other times, however, the cause of the crash is less obvious, leading to speculation, disagreement, and a hard-fought battle in the courtroom to determine who should pay. In cases in which liability is contested, considerable weight is often given to the testimony of eyewitnesses, first responders, and accident reconstruction experts.

The process of investigating the cause of an accident can be a lengthy endeavor. (This is one of the many reasons that it is wise to contact an attorney as soon as possible after being involved in an accident, especially a semi-truck wreck.)

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Earlier this month, a North Carolina truck accident resulted in an ethanol fuel spill of approximately 8,000 gallons. The spill happened within a few miles of a river, causing initial concern about the possible environmental impact.

According to reports, however, the spill did not threaten the local water supply in Rowan County where the wreck happened, since it was “mostly contained” in the immediate area. The accident reportedly happened on Bringle Ferry Road in Rowan County.

How Did it Happen?

car accidentAccording to a news article out of Leavenworth County, Kansas, a truck driver from Asheville, North Carolina, was involved in what local officials called a “horrific accident” near a work zone earlier this month.

The multiple fatality truck accident was so bad that the county’s emergency management director reportedly called it “one of the worst he has ever seen.” In all, five people were killed in the series of collisions.

Two Trucks, Several Smaller Vehicles Involved in Crash

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A devastating North Carolina truck accident can be caused by many things – distracted driving (amazingly, even professional truck drivers often text while operating an 80,000-pound vehicle), driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and speeding, just to name a few.

However, one of the most common causes of big rig wrecks is driver fatigue. It makes sense if you think about it: truckers spend a lot of time on the road. It can be tiring. It can be boring. But – and this is the important thing – there are ways to minimize the effect of fatigued driving on truckers.

In fact, there are not only “suggestions” from agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet, take a nap, avoid medication that causes drowsiness, recognize the signals of drowsy driving…), but there are laws in place designed to combat this growing problem. Both truckers and trucking companies can find themselves in “hot water” if these rules are not followed.

truck cabThe State of North Carolina publishes “Traffic Crash Facts” each year, summarizing information such as the total number of persons killed in motor vehicle accidents across the state, the primary causes of traffic accidents, and the various types of vehicles involved in such accidents. Reviewing this information gives one the sense that there is at least some degree of predictability to car and truck crashes.

For example, factors such as alcohol use, excessive speed, and distracted driving are commonly cited by investigating officers as causing or contributing to truck accidents, car wrecks, and motorcycle collisions. However, not every accident follows a predictable pattern.

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flatbed truck

Commercial trucks cause accidents, injuries, and deaths in many different ways. Usually, the truck is in motion when a crash or collision happens, but this is not always so.

Sometimes, the problem is not so much with the truck itself but with the cargo. Part of a truck driver’s job is to make sure that the load is properly secured. When this does not happen, the results can be tragic.

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question markWith several busy interstates (I-40, I-73, I-85, and I-840) running through the town of Greensboro, North Carolina, residents are all too aware of the many dangers associated with big trucks and tractor-trailer traffic in general.

However, a recent accident in a residential area along U.S. 29 left many locals shaking their heads and wondering “what if.”

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Summer is just around the corner and, with it, an increased amount of travel for many North Carolina families. The destination may be a quick getaway to the beach, an out-of-state trip to a friend’s wedding, or a jaunt across the country for a niece or nephew’s high school graduation.

Whatever the purpose of the trip, there’s one thing you can expect:  there will be plenty of traffic, lots of big trucks on the road, and a heightened level of danger when traveling through work areas and construction zones.

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truck cabsWith each passing year, there are more and more large trucks, semis, tractor-trailers, buses, and other commercial vehicles on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tracks certain data pertaining to large trucks and buses.

According to government estimates, there were slightly fewer than six million registered large trucks and buses in 1975; currently, that number is approaching 12 million. It’s no wonder that semi-truck wrecks are so common.

Two recent big truck accidents highlight some of the dangers involved in the increasing number of trucks and other large vehicles across the country.

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Speeding – whether it takes the form of violating the posted limit, driving too safely for the conditions, or even drag racing – is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in North Carolina and across the nation.  According to government estimates, accidents related to speeding have an economic cost in the tens of billions of dollars.

While it’s never a good idea to speed, this is especially true when it comes to tractor trailers. An average semi-truck can have a length in excess of 50 feet and a weight in the neighborhood of 80,000 pounds. It’s difficult enough to stop something that large under ideal conditions, even more so when the operator is traveling too fast.

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