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Trains and Trucks: Dangers on the Tracks and Roads

The sheer weight, size, and speed of large vehicles make the outcomes of accidents more catastrophic and predictable. Combine these factors with driver error, distractions, and the possibility of mechanical problems, and driving these vehicles becomes even more life-threatening. An early March accident in North Carolina reminded us of the dangers of large vehicles when a train/truck accident injured several dozen. In our own state, a truck’s cargo emptied on the freeway creating danger to traveling motorists. These recent accidents serve as a reminder to be careful on the roadways and to understand our rights and responsibilities when traveling.

Tractor-Trailers in South Carolina

Tractor-trailers are large, difficult to navigate vehicles that require special licenses in order to operate. The type of license required is dependent on the weight of the vehicle, and special endorsements are required to carry certain types of cargo, including hazardous materials. Even the most experienced drivers can have trouble in certain instances. For example, the recent train/tractor-trailer accident in North Carolina was caused by a truck being unable to navigate a turn over the railroad tracks, causing the train to crash into the truck. The truck was 164 feet long.

These trucks are difficult for train conductors and smaller passenger vehicles alike to drive alongside. It takes trucks a much longer time than smaller vehicles to come to a complete stop and to navigate wide turns. Trucks can also block the vision of other drivers and create narrow lanes for those driving alongside them. Vision is a primary concern both for the drivers of trucks and non-commercial vehicles. Truck drivers are susceptible to large blind spots that prevent them from being able to see smaller vehicles in their mirrors. This also is a concern when driving in narrow lanes, in that the drivers are not able to see when cars are trying to pass them on the side. On the other hand, tall trucks may block a smaller car driver’s vision to traffic signals, upcoming traffic, and other dangers of the road.

These are just some of the concerns that account for slightly less than 10 percent of traffic accidents in the United States each year. Though the accidents are more often than not caused by the non-commercial vehicle, it is usually the drivers of the non-commercial vehicles that suffer serious injury. Smaller vehicles are typically no match for the tall, heavy tractor-trailer vehicles they share the road with. This is particularly true in rear-ending crashes, or crashes where either the smaller vehicle hits the back of a truck, or the truck is unable to come to a quick stop and crashes into the vehicle(s) ahead of it.

South Carolina Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorneys

Being a victim of a trucking accident can lead to lifelong physical, financial, and emotional concerns. You may find yourself unable to work and unable to support your family financially if you have been seriously injured in a vehicle accident involving a tractor-trailer. At the Solomon Law Group, our team of experienced tractor-trailer accident attorneys knows how to navigate claims involving commercial vehicles and will work with the truck companies, insurance companies, and other lawyers to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to by law. If you have questions about your rights after being injured in a tractor-trailer accident or any other kind of auto accident, contact our Columbia office today.

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