Sharing the road with big rigs and large trucks is a common experience for drivers on North Carolina highways. These massive vehicles play a crucial role in transporting goods, but they also pose significant risks due to their size and weight. Understanding how to drive defensively and respond appropriately when encountering big trucks can significantly enhance your safety on the road. In the following video and article, we provide essential tips for staying safe around big rigs and explain what to do if you find yourself involved in a truck accident.

Watch the video here – run time approximately 6 minutes. Scroll down to read the accompanying article:

Key Safety Tips for Driving Near Big Trucks

  1. Maintain a Safe Distance: Always keep a safe distance between your vehicle and a big truck. Large trucks require more time and space to stop, so maintaining a safe following distance helps prevent rear-end collisions.
  2. Stay Out of Blind Spots: Big trucks have large blind spots on all sides, commonly known as “no-zones.” Avoid driving in these areas where the truck driver may not see you. If you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, the driver likely can’t see you.
  3. Pass with Caution: When passing a big rig, do so quickly and on the left side, where the driver has a better chance of seeing you. Ensure you have enough room to pass safely and avoid cutting in too closely in front of the truck.
  4. Be Aware of Wide Turns: Large trucks need more space to make turns, especially right turns. Give them plenty of room and never try to squeeze between a turning truck and the curb.
  5. Avoid Sudden Maneuvers: Sudden stops or lane changes can be dangerous around big rigs. Always signal well in advance and make your intentions clear to the truck driver.

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Common Causes of Truck Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Understanding the common causes of accidents involving big rigs can help you take proactive measures to avoid them:

  • Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours, leading to fatigue. Stay alert for signs of erratic driving and keep a safe distance from trucks that appear to be swerving or drifting.
  • Speeding: Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to react to sudden changes. Observe speed limits and adjust your speed based on road conditions and traffic flow.
  • Mechanical Failures: Big trucks can experience mechanical issues like brake failures or tire blowouts. Stay vigilant and be prepared to take evasive action if you see a truck experiencing mechanical problems.

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What to Do at the Scene of a Truck Accident

If you are involved in an accident with a big rig, it’s crucial to know the steps to take at the scene to protect yourself and gather essential information:

  1. Ensure Safety: Move to a safe location if possible and turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
  2. Call 911: Report the accident to emergency services and request medical assistance if anyone is injured.
  3. Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any visible injuries. Gather contact information from witnesses and note the truck’s license plate and company details.
  4. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine, seek medical evaluation to check for any hidden injuries.
  5. Contact a Lawyer: Consult with a qualified truck accident lawyer to understand your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation.

Legal Steps After a Truck Accident

After a truck accident, taking the right legal steps is essential to protect your interests and seek compensation for damages. Here are some crucial steps:

  • Report the Accident: File an accident report with local law enforcement and ensure all details are accurately recorded.
  • Collect Evidence: Preserve all evidence related to the accident, including medical records, repair bills, and communication with insurance companies.
  • Consult an Attorney: An experienced truck accident attorney can help you navigate the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary.

Resources on North Carolina Truck Accident Statistics

  1. North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT)
  2. North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP)
  3. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  4. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  5. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

These resources provide valuable information and insights into truck accident statistics in North Carolina, helping to inform safety measures and legal strategies for those affected by such incidents.

Driving around big rigs requires heightened awareness and specific strategies to minimize risks. Whether you’re a daily commuter or an occasional traveler on North Carolina highways, these practical tips will help you stay safe and avoid potentially dangerous situations.

At Kellum Law Firm, your safety on the road is our top priority. We provide the knowledge and resources you need to drive confidently and safely. If you find yourself involved in a truck accident, our experienced truck accident lawyers are here to help you navigate the complexities of your case and secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation and let us assist you in protecting your rights and ensuring your peace of mind on the road.