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If you drive on the highway on a regular basis, it’s fair to say that you have driven near an 18-wheeler. For many people, the thought of cruising along side a large truck is nerve wracking. Your heart speeds up, your blood pressure rises and you become anxious. This is completely normal. Considering that a semi truck is a very large and fast moving vehicle, it’s easy to see how people may become stressed when having to drive near a tractor trailer.

In most instances, you can drive along side a big rig and pass it with no problem. In other instances you may find yourself forced into another lane or, worse, the shoulder. In situations like that, you may believe that the tractor trailer driver is driving aggressive or unsafely.  However, there is a better explanation and it is simple; the driver of the 18 wheeler may not have seen you because of a blind spot.

Semi Truck Blind Spots

When you slip behind the wheel of your vehicle, you are aware that you have two blind spots on either side of your car. For most non commercial vehicles dealing with a blind spot is as easy as adjusting the mirrors and looking over your shoulders before you change lanes or merge onto the highway. It’s not quite that simple for truckers.

The best way a driver can protect themselves against a  potential accident with a tractor trailer or semi truck is to understand the truck’s blind spots. There are “danger zones” on a big rig that many people are unaware of. The danger zones are:

  • The length of both sides of the truck
  • 20 feet in front of the cab
  • 30 feet behind the trailer

When you find yourself in any of these danger zone areas, the best move is to get out of the danger zone as quickly and safely as possible. This may mean you have to speed up slightly to pass or get ahead of the truck, or you may have to let off the gas and fall behind a few feet more.

Imagine driving your own car and having your side windows and mirrors blacked out. Imagine that your rear window is blacked out as well. Now consider how difficult it would be to be sure you were changing lanes safely. This is what truckers face every time they drive. Help keep the roads safe by doing your best to be aware of these danger zones and try to avoid them when possible.

It can be easy to get frustrated while driving. Traffic moves too slowly, especially during rush hour, and you have places to go. Don’t get so frustrated that you crowd a semi. You’re not only putting yourself in harm’s way — a truck accident can quite easily cause a chain reaction. If you can’t see the truck driver in one of the cab’s side mirrors, assume that the trucker can’t see you.

If you have been injured in a truck accident in Charlotte or elsewhere in North Carolina, and the truck driver was at fault, you may have a case that could entitle you to compensation and other protections that the law allows for such as money for lost wages and pain and suffering. Reach out to our team of experienced  accident attorneys today for a free case evaluation. We will discuss your accident with you and help you determine your best plan for moving forward after your accident. Please drive safe and let us know if we can help you.

Semi truck accidents are often catastrophic. It is easy to understand why when you consider just how much power is behind such a large truck. While there are certainly reasons for these accidents that can be attributed to truckers themselves, many come down to the behaviors of vehicle drivers.

Sharing the road is everyone’s responsibility. Vehicle drivers need to be careful when driving near semi trucks and other large vehicles. Here are four things that vehicle drivers may do that could easily cause a truck versus car accident.

1. Changing Lanes

A smaller car can fit into the spaces that a semi truck cannot. Unfortunately, squeezing into the space just ahead of a truck is not always a good idea when changing lanes. Trucks take a longer time to come to a stop than a typical vehicle. Swerving in front of a semi truck can cause an accident simply because of the limited response time of a trucker.

2. Passing

Passenger vehicles can see one another much easier than trucks can. Passenger vehicles are not always familiar with blind spots of semis, nor do drivers of passenger vehicles know how much room a truck needs to maneuver. Passing a semi on a hill or curve can be dangerous. Any time a vehicle passes a truck, they should do so in a way that doesn’t cause the truck driver to need to brake.

3. Blind Spots

Truckers do not only have blind spots to the sides of their rigs. There are blind spots in the front and rear as well. A good rule of thumb is this: If you can’t see a trucker’s side mirrors, they can’t see you. Keep this in mind when riding next to or behind a semi.

4. Wide Turns

Most people have seen the stickers on the back of a semi’s trailer that says the particular truck makes wide turns. If a semi is ahead of you and has its turn signal on, don’t try to make the turn faster. Be patient and wait behind the truck as it makes its right or left turn. If you are caught on the side of the truck as it is trying to negotiate a turn or corner, you could be hit.

No one wants to be involved in a truck versus car accident due to the potential seriousness of these types of incidents. The good news is that there are things that a vehicle driver can be aware of when sharing the road with semis. The next time you find yourself riding behind, in front of or next to a semi truck, keep the list above in mind.

If you are involved in a vehicle accident in Charlotte, reach out to our experienced team of accident attorneys for a free case evaluation. We will review your accident and advise you of your legal options. Call today to schedule your consultation and let us help you begin putting your life back together.

shutterstock_362400680Truckers drive the road every day, and most do so with safety in mind. That said, driving on dry, even roads is a much different beast than driving over icy winter roads. When the weather takes a turn, driving demands rise, requiring a different skill set. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t alter the way that they drive and accidents happen.

Driving in bad weather is risky. It is harder to see, and traction is poorer. If you are a trucker, here are some tips to get you through this season safely.

1. Slow Down

The best thing you can do to keep yourself and everyone on the road safe is to slow down. Most at-fault accidents are due to excessive speed. Yes, driving at the speed limit is legal, even in the winter, but it may not be the safest option. If the roads are slick with rain or snow, slow down and take as much time as you need to get where you are going.

2. Following Distance

Getting behind an overly-cautious driver can be aggravating, especially in states that experience snow every winter. No matter how irritated you are by the driver in front of you, keep a safe following distance. If possible, you should keep a distance of about a quarter mile between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.

3. Go It Alone

It seems that traffic travels in a group along the highway. It’s an odd phenomenon, but one that happens more and more in winter weather. Your safest bet is to go it alone. Try to get away from the pack as much as possible, and place distance between your rig and the vehicles around you. This gives you plenty of room to maneuver should you need to do so.

4. Get Off the Road

This is a tip that most drivers don’t follow. If the conditions dictate that you pull off the road and wait for the weather to pass, do it. It is tempting to push on so that you can arrive at your destination at a designated time, but you may not arrive at all if you are in a serious collision.

5. Routine Checks

Check your vehicle before you get on the road. Do your circle check and make sure that brakes, heaters, wipers, defrosters and all other components of your truck are in proper working order. Make sure that your windows, lights and mirrors are cleared of any dirt or snow. Don’t be in such a hurry to get on the road that you fail to ensure the safety of your vehicle. Making sure that your truck is road ready is one of the safest things you can do.

A truck accident can be catastrophic. If you are involved in a truck accident in Charlotte, reach out to our team of accident attorneys. We can help you file suit for the compensation that you are entitled to under state law. Call today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we handle.

Think back to when you were 15 or 16 years old. Are you able to remember your driver’s education course? If you can, chances are you recall learning the general rules of the road, how to drive with your hands at 10 and 2 and, worst of all, parallel parking. What most people don’t recall is learning how to drive safely around big rigs.

In fairness, we are taught to drive defensively no matter the situation we are in. What few, if any, are taught, are the safety procedures that should be enacted when driving around semi trucks. Knowing how to share the road with big rigs can help save your life. Here are a few things about 18-wheelers that you may never have been taught.

1. Blowouts are Common

How many times have you driven down the highway and seen scraps of tires littering the shoulder? Tire blow outs are more common than you may think. Avoid driving for a lengthy time next to a semi. There’s a good chance that shards of tire can come flying at your vehicle.

2. Trailers are Sails

Sure, trucks are heavy. That doesn’t mean that they are impervious to being blown by the wind. In fact, trucks have a large surface area, making them more prone to blowing. Don’t be surprised if a semi drifts into your lane during a wind storm.

3. Surrounded by Blind Spots

There are four “no zones” around a big rig. These are directly in front and back of the truck and to either side next to the cab. Don’t mess about when you are passing a semi. Put your foot down and get past it as you safely can. Try to avoid getting on the side of a semi near on-ramps. If they have to suddenly move over to let a car in, you could find yourself pushed off the side of the road.

4. Stopping is Slow

Never cut off a semi truck. It can take a loaded semi the length of three football fields to come to a complete stop when traveling down the highway. Put a few hundred feet between you and the truck before you decide to get in front of it.

Sharing the road is something that we all have to do. Knowing how to share it safely can help ensure that you get where you are going without injury.

If you have been involved in a truck accident in Charlotte, our team is here for you. We will review the details of your accident at no cost to you or your family and advise you of the options available to you. Call now for assistance.

No one can argue that truck driving is a tiring job. The occupation may not always require heavy lifting, but it does require driving for long stretches of time while remaining alert, something that can be difficult to do. According to a study released by the University of Minnesota, Morris, commercial truck drivers who have obstructive sleep apnea and do not adhere to their treatment protocols are at five times greater risk of crashing.

Sleep apnea, a disorder that causes people to momentarily stop breathing when they are asleep, causes daytime sleepiness. This, in turn, can result in drivers who are too fatigued to be on the road. Obstructive sleep apnea is estimated to affect nearly 25 million adults in this country.

For the study, researchers looked at 1,613 truck drivers diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and 1,613 drivers without the disorder. They looked at drivers with similar experience and approximately the same number of hours on the road. The drivers with obstructive sleep apnea were all given the same prescribed therapy. Close to 700 drivers followed the treatment, 600 followed it partially and 400 did not follow it t all.

The rate of preventable accidents among truck drivers who did not follow their prescribed obstructive sleep apnea therapy was five times greater than those who did. Those drivers who only partially followed the therapy had a crash rate similar to those who followed it completely.

The study shows that untreated obstructive sleep apnea is a danger to transportation safety. The recommendation of researchers is to screen all potential commercial truck drivers for the condition and to treat those who are found to have the disorder. Both the Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that they would be gathering more information on the effects of obstructive sleep apnea on their workers.

If you have been involved in a truck accident in Charlotte, you need an experienced attorney like Auger & Auger on your side. Call our team of accident attorneys today for a free case evaluation and discover your options. We are here for you. Call today.

17505955906_85c4c5629c_kHAMPSTEAD, N.C. – A South Carolina family’s life has been forever changed after a drive through North Carolina, and a church community is mourning.

Last Sunday, a South Carolina preacher and his family were driving down the North Carolina coast on the way home from a wedding just outside of Wilmington. A two-year-old boy was killed in the accident and a mother was injured.

The accident happened while Hadley Eddings, pregnant, was sitting at a red light. In the back seat was her two-year-old son. Eddings is the wife of Gentry Eddings, a Forest Hill Church worship leader. Gentry Eddings was driving a separate car and his parents were in another.

As the car was stopped, it was struck from behind by an 18 wheeler whose driver failed to stop. The crash occurred just after noon. As the 18 wheeler hit Eddings’ vehicle, she was pushed into her husband’s. His car was forced off of the road and overturned prior to coming to a stop in the median. Eddings’ parents’ car was also struck.

Hadley Eddings, 37 weeks pregnant, was immediately transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Eddings underwent an emergency cesarean section. The infant is currently on life support and Eddings is listed in good condition. Doctors remain hopeful about the baby’s recovery and report that the baby is responsive to touch.

The driver of the truck has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle. Together with troopers, the district attorney’s office will complete an investigation and determine if additional charges are warranted. Troopers report that the crash caused the US 17 southbound lanes to be closed for approximately four hours.

Members of the Eddings’ church, friends, and family remain in mourning for the loss of one of their own. Funeral service information for the toddler has not been released.

If you have been injured in an automobile accident, no matter how serious, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and more. Our compassionate and experienced attorneys are here for you and will work to get you everything that you deserve. Please call our offices as soon as possible so that we can assist you.

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download (26)Some residents of Rowan County are still not allowed to go back to their homes more than 36 hours after a fatal accident and hazardous chemical spill. According to authorities, a tanker truck carrying thousands of gallons of ethanol fuel leaked into the surrounding soil.   Emergency crews and a Hazmat team have been called to the crash site near Bringle Ferry Road.  The cleanup efforts have begun, however, it could take weeks before the job is finished.

While emergency crews have stated that none of the fuel has reached any streams or creeks, there are still concerns about the chemicals having tainted a nearby well. The accident involved one fatality.  The driver of the semi-truck was identified as James Sechler, 63 of Mooresville. Two families who lived near the crash site were evacuated. The residents are being kept out of their homes until they crews completely examine the area and are certain that the well has not been contaminated.

After an accident happens, sometimes it can be difficult to determine just who is at fault.  That is the time when having professional legal advice is essential.

If you or a loved one has been involved in or affected by an accident, having an experienced attorney who will look after your interests and give you advice on how to handle your specific situation is your best bet.  Before you sign anything, call the offices of Auger & Auger.

We are focused in all areas of both accident and personal liability law.   We know just what needs to be done in a personal injury or accident case.  Have someone on your side that will get you the settlement you deserve. Call us today.

downloadOne of the cause for train wrecks are tractor-trailer drivers that take chances. Many railroad tracks are elevated above the main street level. That small hill can become a trap by catching the bottom of vehicle. Many intersections have signs warning drivers with trailers to find another route.

There was no injury in this particular incident, but one man did receive a nasty surprise. The driver of a tractor trailer in Florida got caught and left his vehicle to avoid getting hit by a train. That trailer was carrying something special, a $300,000 McLaren. The car was totaled in the accident. The owner of the vehicle seemed to take it in stride though. The driver of the tractor-trailer will be cited for the incident.

The train wreck also caused several other commercial and passenger trains to be delayed until the investigation was complete.

The driver of the trailer is lucky, all things considered. When trains hit an unexpected object, there is a high chance that they could derail. A derailed train carrying passengers can cause significant numbers of injuries and deaths.

If you have been injured on a train due to someone else’s carelessness, call the law team at Auger & Auger. Our lawyers are ready to hear your case and advise you on your chances of receiving compensation. Call today for a free consultation.

Before/After shots of overturned cement truckWAKE FOREST, N.C. – Thursday, January 29, 2015 was not a good day for the driver of a concrete truck in Wake Forest.

Shortly before 10 a.m. on Capital Boulevard, a driver fleeing from police pulled into the path of the truck, causing the truck driver to swerve and, ultimately, tip his vehicle.

20-year-old Skylar Steven Blackley led police on the chase after Franklin County deputies attempted to serve a warrant on the man. The chase began in Wake Forest and saw Blackley driving west on the Bypass, eventually traveling in the eastbound lane. As Blackley crossed into traffic, he veered into the path of the cement truck.

Blackley continued driving with little regard for the condition of the truck driver or the safety of other drivers on the road. The chase ended in Franklin County with the arrest of Blackley. The man has been charged with driving the wrong way on a dual lane highway, speeding, felony hit and run, red light violation, and reckless driving. Police report that more charges are imminent.

According to deputies, high-speed pursuits are dangerous for everyone involved, including other drivers on the road.

“It absolutely can be nerve racking for the deputies and all involved but they take every precaution they possible can based on all the training that they have received,” said Terry Wright, FCS Chief Deputy.

In the wake of the pursuit, police are imploring that the public pull over if they see a police pursuit coming their way, no matter the direction of travel. Move to the side of the road and stop your vehicle for your safety. Police also encourage motorists to keep radio volume at a level that allows them to hear sirens and noises outside of the vehicle.

Shortly after the accident, the driver of the truck was transported to WakeMed with minor injuries.

If you have been injured in a collision caused by the reckless and careless driving of another, you have rights. Contact at experienced auto collision attorney who can fight for your rights. You deserve to be compensated for any medical bills or loss of wages you experience.

image02This Memorial Day weekend on Sunday, May 25, a train carrying hundreds of military vehicles crashed into a semi-truck stuck on the tracks.

The truck became “high centered” as it approached the track, becoming stranded atop the small hill that the tracks were on. Video taken by witness Tee Sae, indicates that the truck seems to have the front end dipped down, while the back wheels have risen in the air, unable to propel the truck off of the track. (Picture on right is from after the collision, taken from source video website)

Videos were taken from both sides of the train during the accident: One perspective shows the truck driver running onto the tracks signaling for the train to stop, while on the other side, a passenger in another vehicle is recording a video of the Stryker armored troop carriers on board just before the collision. The second perspective also shows the unhinged semi roll into the road just in front of oncoming traffic the recorder’s car stop a mere 20 yards before impact.

image003The image to the right was taken from the sourced video less than a second before the collision.

According to operationlifesaver.ca, it can take trains that are extremely heavy and long, this one in particular over a mile long, close to their length to stop. Unfortunately it seems, the train engineer did not see the truck until it was too late, and although the train honked its horn a dozen times, nothing could be done in the brief period of time until the impact.

Thankfully, the semi-truck did not contain any chemicals or petroleum, only mixed nuts, and no one was harmed in the collision. One can only imagine the aftermath if a gas or dangerous chemical truck had been stranded on that railroad.

Fortunately, no one was harmed in the collision, and even more surprising is that no cars were harmed when the semi was shot into traffic from the tracks.

Incidents like this make us question conventional ways that we build our infrastructure. Although tracks are built on hills for a variety of reasons, it may be a good idea to expand the bases of these tracks so that vehicles do not risk bottoming out or becoming “high centered.”

Protecting the rights of truck and train accident victims for over 25 years. Learn more about truck accident claims at Auger & Auger, North Carolina’s premier truck accident law firm. https://www.augerlaw.com/north-carolina-truck-accident-lawyer/

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