Semi-Trucks Frequently Spill Cargo, Endangering North Carolina Motorists

red potatoes

According to statistics maintained by the American Trucking Association, nearly 70% of all freight tonnage is moved via truck in the United States. That adds up to some 9.2 billion tons of freight moving over our interstates, highways, and roads each year. That’s over 25 million tons per day!

The movement of that much freight, when coupled with risk factors such as driver fatigue, distracted driving, driving while impaired, and exceeding the speed limit, has the potential to cause a staggering number of accidents. It can also result in some very large – and unusual – spills along the nation’s roadways. Sometimes the spill is caused by the wreck, but sometimes the wreck is caused by the spill.

Two Potato Trucks Overturn in North Carolina in Less Than Two Months

Last month, a tractor-trailer overturned on I-77 in Charlotte, littering the roadway with some 50,000 pounds of potatoes. According to media reports, the wreck happened after the truck driver fell asleep, struck a barrier, and overturned the truck. The driver was injured, but fortunately no passenger vehicles were involved in the collision.

About six weeks later, another potato-carrying semi was involved in an accident in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. In that wreck, the right bulkhead gave way when the driver was negotiating a right-hand turn, and the trailer split in half. Tens of thousands of potatoes spilled out, taking hours to clean up.

Other Spilled-Cargo Accidents Involving Big Trucks

Also in June, a truck hauling a flat-bed trailer with some 400 to 500 bee hives (each containing about 20,000 bees) was involved in a multi-vehicle crash on I-85 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Three other tractor-trailers were involved in the accident as well. The ensuing swarm of bees was so large that it could be seen from a news chopper covering the crash, and motorists were warned to avoid the area. Still, one motorist was stung at least 50 times.

Perhaps the most alarming spill this month occurred in Tennessee, when a truck carrying molten aluminum overturned in Mt. Pleasant on its way to Knoxville. The 25,000 pounds of aluminum were so hot that they melted the asphalt, closing the highway for several hours.

Although no fatalities or catastrophic injuries were reported in any of these spill-crashes, it is obvious that each had the potential to cause harm to innocent motorists. Had that happened, the motorists could have filed suit against the truckers and potentially the trucking companies that employed them, seeking to recover damages under a theory of negligence or recklessness.

Talk to an Experienced North Carolina Truck Wreck Lawyer

If you or a person close to you is suffering because of the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, you need a lawyer who can help you take appropriate legal action. To schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable and assertive North Carolina truck accident attorney, call Nagle & Associates today at (888) 841-7177. We help injured people throughout North Carolina, and we will be glad to talk to you about your case at your convenience.

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