A tractor trailer crashed on I-40 in Johnston County closing all lanes temporarily. The 18-wheeler wrecked on a stretch of the interstate near Clayton, North Carolina (N.C.). The big rig went down an embankment, damaged a guard rail and leaked fuel around 7 a.m. causing a dangerous blockage for vehicles until responders were able to obtain control of the crash site.
Semi trucks with a trailer are less maneuverable, start more slowly and take longer to stop than other vehicles. They are particularly susceptible to adverse road conditions. The average tractor-trailer can range from 12,100 pounds to 80,000 pounds. The federal government even allows more and more trucks to operate at an overload capacity of over 80,000 pounds! That means a large commercial truck like an 18-wheeler weighs about 25 times the average automobile – up to 40 times more than some small cars.
If a tractor trailer strikes a semi truck in the rear, it does not stop or slow appreciably. When you factor in the size of the truck with the speed and weight, you can see why the possibility of other vehicles becoming part of an accident is great. In fact, tractor trailer accidents account for an eighth of all traffic fatalities.