- There were 4,464 crashes involving semi trucks in North Carolina in 2016.
- In 2016, there were 95 accidents involving trucks pulling two trailers.
- 1,256 people were killed in those accidents.
Truckers 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 challenges quickly rise, requiring a different skill set. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t change the way that they drive during poor driving conditions and accidents result.
Driving in bad weather is risky. It is harder to see, and there can be less traction and grip for tires. If you’re a trucker, here are some tips to get you through this season safely.
The best thing you can do to keep yourself and everyone on the road safe is to slow down. Many at-fault accidents are due to excessive speed. Keep in mind that the set speed limit may not be the safest speed at which to drive when driving conditions have deteriorated. 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.
It’s always a good idea to check out a traffic map of your route before you start the engine. You’ll know if there are any tie-ups or accidents along the route which could put you in a time crunch. Leaving earlier may be a necessary move. You may even want to consider finding an alternate route to avoid traffic altogether.
Getting behind a slower 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. As North Carolina truck accident attorneys, we know that no one wants to be the person responsible for any accident, especially a catastrophic accident. Unfortunately, this is exactly what can happen if you drive so impatiently that you are on someone’s bumper — especially in inclement weather.
Go It Alone
It seems that traffic travels in a group along the highway. It’s an odd phenomenon, but one that seems to happen during poor driving conditions caused by winter weather. One option is to go it alone. If you try to get away from the pack, you can place distance between your rig and the other vehicles around you. More space gives you plenty of room to maneuver should you need to.
Get Off the Road
This is a tip that many commercial and non-commercial drivers don’t follow. If the conditions dictate that you pull off the road and wait for the weather to pass, then do it! It is tempting to push on so that you can arrive at your destination at a designated time but arriving later than planned is better than not arriving at all.
Don’t be a hero. As a professional driver, you know what you and your rig can handle and what you can’t. Never feel as though a deadline is more important than your safety or that of others on the road. If you believe that the weather is inhibiting your ability to drive safely, get off the road and wait until things clear up.
Check your vehicle before you get on the road. Make sure that the 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.
Necessary maintenance should be completed before you get on the road. If you know there is a problem with your rig, you have no business driving it. If you don’t own the truck or aren’t responsible for its maintenance, alert the person responsible for repairs. If you don’t feel that that person is taking you seriously, don’t be afraid to speak up until you talk to someone that will listen.
Our Charlotte Truck Accident Attorneys are Here to Help
Any accident can be catastrophic, especially accidents involving large commercial vehicles. If you are involved in a truck accident in North Carolina, reach out to our team of Charlotte truck accident attorneys. We can help you fight for the compensation that you are entitled to under the law. Call us today at (855) 969-5671 and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. Our team of injury professionals is ready to speak to you to see if we can help!