They are the biggest vehicles on the interstate highways bisecting the Raleigh metro area: 18-wheelers. The large commercial trucks weigh tens of thousands of pounds more than passenger vehicles, making them much more difficult to maneuver and to bring to a stop in critical moments.
Regular readers of our Raleigh personal injury blog know that impairment and excess speed are often cited in motor vehicle accidents. We read recently of a deadly crash in which both factors were found to be present in a wreck that happened nearly a year ago.
If you are like most drivers, you have probably felt a little nervous when driving next to an 18-wheeler. There are good reasons for these feelings. While semi-truck accidents do not occur as frequently as those among passenger vehicles, the results of a wreck with a large commercial truck can be devastating. Even a seemingly minor collision can do serious damage to a smaller motor vehicle and its occupants.
They roll in and out of Raleigh all day and all night. Commercial trucks bring us goods we need and leave with goods we supply to others. Most trucking is done safely, but when a truck accident occurs it often results in catastrophic injuries and deaths.
It is about a 10-hour drive north from Raleigh along the coast to get to Edison, New Jersey. It’s the kind of drive that long-haul truckers make routinely, usually without incident. Unfortunately, when mistakes are made with tractor-trailers, everyone on the road is in danger of severe injuries or being killed by the enormous, heavy trucks.
Anyone who has been on the interstate highways in the Raleigh area knows that tractor-trailers make up a significant portion of the thick, fast-moving traffic. We count on 18-wheelers to bring in goods and carry out products to the rest of the nation.
As we well know from this past North Carolina winter, weather can rapidly change for the worse, bringing with it dangerous driving conditions. In some cases, motorists are urged to wait for a storm to pass than to try to navigate slippery roads with minimal visibility.
Regular readers of our Raleigh Personal Injury Law Blog know that in our previous post, we took a look at some of truck accident data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). One of the most important points made by the nonprofit organization is that 18-wheelers weigh up to 30 times as much as passenger vehicles and require up to 40 percent more road distance in which to come to a full stop.
Here in Raleigh, we have interstate highways coming at us from all directions. The biggest and most dangerous vehicles rolling down those strips of pavement are large commercial trucks hauling goods in and out of our city.
In theory, we are all riding on the road to zero. We just don't know how we'll get there or if we'll ever arrive. The recently formed Road To Zero Coalition hopes to dramatically reduce the numbers of motor vehicle accidents, injuries and fatalities. The coalition's ultimate goal is to reduce fatalities to zero.