When you think about deadly truck accidents, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the type of truck you regularly see on the freeways of North Carolina – namely, those huge 18-wheelers that carry one or two trailers behind them. It is true that big rigs can cause devastating crashes, especially chain reaction collisions that result in numerous injuries or fatalities. However, you need to understand the risks that you can face from smaller commercial trucks on any city street.
There were 184 fatalities in North Carolina in 2016 due to utility truck crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In contrast, there were just 20 fatalities resulting from large truck collisions in the state that same year. You might wonder what qualifies as a utility truck. These are generally the commercial vehicles you see around town that contain equipment for working on phone lines, utility boxes and the like. They represent a fraction of the trucks of similar size that are on the roads every day for such purposes as package deliveries, mail and home repair.
Box trucks are another type of truck that you can expect to see anywhere. U-Haul trucks are a prime example of box trucks, and they can be particularly susceptible to accidents for the following reasons:
- People who rent U-Hauls may not have prior experience driving such a large and unwieldy vehicle.
- Those who drive a box truck might not know its height, and could attempt to drive it beneath an overpass or other structure that is not tall enough to accommodate the vehicle.
- Improper loading of a box truck could cause it to be imbalanced and tip over during a turn.
It may be wise to give commercial trucks plenty of room when you encounter them on city roads. If you are injured by a negligent truck driver, you may be eligible for compensation.