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Truck Accidents: Not Just Semi-Trucks

When you mention truck accidents, most people immediately think of the 18-wheeled semi-trucks that are ubiquitous on your roads and highways. While those trucks do pose considerable hazards in the event of an accident, they tend to overshadow the reality that there are many other trucks on the road that pose similar dangers. No matter what type of truck caused your accident, an experienced Raleigh truck accident attorney can help you put your life back together. 

What the Statistics Tell Us

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just released some early statistics about traffic fatalities in 2021. The study reveals that traffic fatalities involving at least one large truck rose by a startling 13 percent compared to 2020, accounting for 5,601 traffic fatalities across the country. While the NHTSA’s study does not provide statistics for categories other than large trucks, the double-digit increase in large truck fatalities is a sufficient cause for concern. 

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has compiled statistics through 2020. These statistics provide a more detailed picture, broken down by different types of trucks, traffic fatalities versus injury accidents: 

  • Light trucks: 19 fatal  vs. 1,437 injured
  • 2 axle single unit trucks: 30 fatal  vs. 1,154 injured
  • 3 or more axle single unit trucks: 23 fatal vs. 488 injured
  • Truck/trailer: 25 fatal vs. 702 injured
  • Truck/tractor: 2 fatal vs. 70 injured
  • Tractor/semi-trailer: 65 fatal vs. 1,087 injured
  • Tractor/doubles: 5 fatal vs. 29 injured
  • Unknown heavy truck: 2 fatal vs. 66 injured

While semi-trucks and other truck-trailer combinations account for the most injuries and fatalities, it is interesting to note that single-unit trucks comprise a significant portion of the total number of truck accidents in North Carolina. As a result, trucks other than semi-trucks and tractor-trailers require a closer look. These statistics might also underscore the importance of working with a Raleigh truck accident attorney who has experience in handling all types of truck accidents if you have been injured in a truck accident. 

Tanker Trucks

Tanker trucks are trucks that haul liquids or gasses in a large tank and can be two or three-axle single-unit trucks or larger semi-trucks. They often carry hazardous materials such as fuel or toxic chemicals that can be flammable or combustible. The unstable nature of liquid cargo can cause drivers to lose control of the truck and be unable to avoid an accident. Once spilled, this cargo can present additional hazards to other drivers who may be involved in the accident. 

Tanker trucks, specifically those that carry hazardous materials, require special training and are subject to specific regulations. It is arguably even more important that the truck is properly maintained. Trucking companies who fail to comply with those regulations, fail to ensure that drivers are properly trained, or fail to maintain the truck could be held liable in the event of an accident. A Raleigh truck accident lawyer can help you get fair compensation if you have been injured in a tanker truck accident. 

Garbage Trucks

Garbage trucks present unique hazards to other drivers, pedestrians, and anyone else on the road. They are often on the roads in residential areas early in the morning when visibility is poor. They stop and go frequently, make sudden turns, drive in reverse, and can be generally unpredictable. Due to their large blind spots, they often cannot see other cars, pedestrians, cyclists, or children. 

Cement Trucks

Cement trucks are those trucks that you see with the large revolving drum on a three-axle chassis. Concrete must be shipped wet from the plant to the construction site, and the drum slowly turns to prevent it from hardening while in transit. As a result, the load itself is unstable as the liquid concrete sloshes around inside. The trucks themselves tend to be top-heavy, meaning that these trucks can be prone to rollover accidents. 

A fully-loaded cement truck can be difficult to maneuver at higher speeds and be difficult to stop. If the truck is overloaded or driven by an inexperienced driver, accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. A Raleigh truck accident lawyer will be able to determine whether you may have a claim for compensation.  

Flatbed Trucks and Lowboy Trailers

Flatbed trucks – both single unit and tractor-trailers – are identified by their open bed or trailer that can be used to haul a wide variety of cargo. Given their open design, they are easy to load and unload, but it is critical that the load be properly secured. An improperly loaded trailer can quickly result in an accident. 

A lowboy trailer is a specific type of flatbed trailer used to carry unusually heavy or oversized loads. They are recognizable by the “bed” of the trailer that actually sits below the axles of the trailer, thereby lowering its center of gravity. 

Panel Trucks and Box Trucks

Panel trucks are light trucks that are fully enclosed. Box trucks are single-unit trucks with a large “box” area on the back that is used for transporting goods or equipment. Due to their smaller size, these trucks are usually used for hauling relatively small loads within a given area, typically as part of a delivery route. 

Unfortunately, most of these trucks have extremely poor visibility due to the lack of rear or side windows. They also tend to operate in heavy, stop-and-go traffic. Most of these trucks do not require a commercial driver’s license, which means that the drivers rarely have any special training. Many of these trucks are owned and operated by businesses that are not trucking companies. As a result, the trucks may be poorly equipped and maintained, leading to accidents caused by mechanical failures. For many reasons, accidents involving panel trucks or box trucks can be complicated. If you have been injured in an accident with one of these trucks, we recommend that you contact a Raleigh truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. 

Talk to a Raleigh Truck Accident Lawyer at Martin & Jones

Truck accidents are complicated, and the type of truck that caused your accident may mean significant differences in the way your case is handled. To discuss your case and how we can help, contact us today at 800-662-1234 to schedule a free consultation.

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The law firm you choose makes a difference. If you are the victim of an accident or an illness that someone else caused, the North Carolina personal injury law firm of Martin & Jones has the depth of experience, skills and sensitivity to make your road to recovery as smooth as possible. Whether you have experience with the legal system or have never hired a medical malpractice or personal injury lawyer before, our attorneys and staff will do our best to answer your questions, provide clear advice and prepare you and your family for what to expect. If you would like more information or to meet with one of our attorneys, please fill out the form below or call us at 800.662.1234.