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More risk for smaller vehicles, more responsibility for truckers

The size and weight of a large truck automatically puts passenger vehicle occupants at a disadvantage in a collision on the North Carolina roadways. This fact is demonstrated by the latest state fatality statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2015, there were 130 deaths in truck-related accidents. Only one of these casualties was a truck occupant.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s commercial driver’s license manual identifies trucker behaviors they must use to keep from putting others’ lives at risk. This includes driving at safe speeds for conditions. Traction is a key element that is often compromised by wet pavement, and a driver who does not slow down may not be able to stop quickly enough in a sudden traffic situation. Taking a curve too fast may also cause tires to go into a skid. In either of these situations, slowing down may be all it takes to prevent a deadly accident.

Because stopping distance is so much greater for a large truck, the operator must be aware of any issues coming from as far away as possible. Erratic drivers, construction zones, objects or people on the road, or a view blocked by another large vehicle should signal to a driver to prepare to perform an evasive maneuver.

At the beginning and end of the day’s drive, federal and state law mandates that a truck operator must perform an inspection. This is more than a quick walk around the vehicle. For example, an examination of the wheels should include air pressure, condition of the valve stems, separation of the treads and damage to the tire or rim. The condition of the steering, brake, suspension and exhaust systems, must be verified, as well as the connectors, lights, and cargo.

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77 McCachern Blvd. SE, Suite #3
Concord, NC 28025

Phone: 704-706-9308
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