According to the latest data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of deadly crashes involving at least one truck has gone up each year from 2015 to 2017. In each of those years, large-truck-occupant fatalities rose as well. Though the FMCSA does not state that truckers are to blame for this trend, the data suggests that people who drive trucks in North Carolina and across the nation can do a few things to combat the problem.
For example, truckers should be careful around work zones. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, the percentage of fatal work zone accidents involving one or more large trucks increased. Truckers must take advantage of the higher visual horizon their vehicles give them and let drivers know ahead of time when they will merge (via turn signal) and when they are approaching slowed or stopped traffic (via flashers).
Truckers must also be on their guard against distractions. Federal law bans all handheld phone use for calling. Some trucking companies allow hands-free phone use, in which case truckers should keep their phone in a place where it cannot slide or fall. Otherwise, it is best to keep the phone out of sight and out of mind. Adjusting the seat, mirrors and radio before driving is a good idea since even these actions can pose a distraction.
There are many ways that truckers can be negligent: inattentive driving, drowsy driving, DUI and speeding. Truckers may even fail to maintain their trucks according to federal trucking regulations, raising the risk for an accident. Victims of negligence have a right to compensation. In North Carolina, which follows the rule of contributory negligence, victims can recover damages only when the defendant is 100 percent at fault. They may want to hire a lawyer for the filing of their claim.