As everyone who has driven on Interstate 77 knows, traffic can move at a crawl during Charlotte’s rush hours and up to the speed limit (and beyond) for the rest of the work day and on weekends. Imagine your surprise if you were driving on I-77 behind an 18-wheeler, as Zachary Hooker was this past summer, when one of the truck’s massive tires popped off and landed right in front of him.
“As soon as I hit it, I went airborne so all four wheels went off the ground,” he recently told a Charlotte TV station. When I landed, I lost control.” Though he survived, many others who are in tractor-trailer accidents are not as fortunate.
One of the many jobs assigned to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol is to identify and “take unsafe commercial motor vehicles off the roadway,” a trooper with the state’s motor carrier safety program recently told the station. They inspect thousands of commercial vehicles each year at the I-85 weigh station in Gaston County.
Inspections of more than 9.600 big rigs in nine Charlotte-area counties resulted in nearly 40 percent of them being ordered off of the road.
One of the most common violations: failure to keep proper driver logs recording the amount of time they spend on the road.
“If you’re driving an 80,000-pound vehicle down the road, you’re tired and you can’t maintain lane control, you’re looking at a disaster,” the trooper said.
As we know from experience, fatigue is one of the most common causes of tractor-trailer wrecks.
If you or a member of your family has been hurt in a commercial truck accident, you can pursue full compensation for all damages. Speak to an attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.