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Who is responsible when logging trucks cause accidents?

Last month’s death of a van driver in Craven County highlights the dangerous and often fatal aftermath of a motor vehicle accident involving a logging truck. The head-on collision during the late morning of Jan. 13 south of Vanceboro scattered debris along the yard of a nearby home and forced the closure of U.S. Highway 17 for several hours.

North Carolinians are familiar with the sight of logging trucks, dump trucks and 18-wheelers hauling large and heavy cargo from state to state. Motorists share the roads with these hulking vehicles that, sometimes, are manned by fatigued, overworked, inexperienced and, sometimes, alcohol- or drug-induced drivers. Accidents often occur simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Drivers, trucking companies and manufacturers

Drivers can do their best to minimize any potential accidents with large trucks, taking precautions such as passing safely and keeping a safe distance on the road. However, when the other driver is negligent or reckless, you may have little control. Causes of trucking accidents can involve a number of different parties, such as:

  • Truck drivers: Whether they are inexperienced, fatigued due to meeting strict deadlines or under the influence of alcohol and drugs, truckers can represent serious dangers to other motorists.
  • Trucking companies: These businesses have the responsibility of hiring safe and effective drivers, while also providing the necessary training for them.
  • Truck maintenance companies: Repairs and upkeep are essential in keeping trucking fleets operating safely. A few loose lug nuts or a damaged axle on a truck can lead to tragedy.
  • Truck manufacturers: These companies need to stand by their products, but sometimes their trucks may contain defective parts.
  • Cargo loading companies: An improperly secured load of heavy logs also can lead to a truck tipping over or losing that cargo on the road.

Accidents involving logging trucks and other large vehicles usually cause catastrophic injuries and can prove fatal. While no amount of money can bring back a loved one, those left behind may be entitled to compensation that creates financial security.

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