A hog truck that ran out of control outside of Goldsboro, North Carolina (NC), hit a car head on and sent three people to the hospital with injuries. The three-vehicle crash happened near the intersection of U.S. 13 and W. Hill Street on May 24, 2017.
According to news reports, the semi driver lost control when he came up on a pickup truck that had stopped on U.S 13 to let oncoming traffic pass before making a left-hand turn into a driveway. Stomping on his brakes caused the hog truck operator to run off the side of the highway and hit the pickup after reentering the roadway.
The semi then crossed the double yellow line of the two-lane rural highway and collided with the car. The person driving the car sustained serious injuries, and two passengers in the smaller vehicle suffered injuries that were not considered life threatening.
While the investigation into the wreck in central Wayne County continues, it is fair to state that the descriptions of the incident fit the profile of truck accidents caused by delayed braking and distracted driving. Stopping a heavy commercial truck takes considerable time and distance. A standard calculation of stopping distance for a semi weighing 80,000 pounds and traveling 55 mph shows that the truck requires 335 feet to completely halt its forward motion. More than 10 percent of that distance is needed for recognizing the need to brake and for applying the brakes.
Any delays in reaction time increase the risks for a rear-end collision or other type of crash that leaves innocent people injured. And, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notes on its webpage devoted to minimizing driver distractions, “A 2006 study found that driver inattention was the leading factor in crashes and near-crashes. The study found that nearly 80 percent of crashes involved some form of driver inattention in the 3 seconds before the crash or near-crash.”
Specifically, the agency warns against these common behaviors by commercial truck drivers:
- Taking eyes off the road ahead to check out billboards, signs and scenery
- Using a dispatching device like a two-way radio or dashboard computer
- Talking on a cell phone or smartphone
- Reading paper maps
- Marking manifests or writing in logs
- Eating and drinking
Even if driver distraction played no role in causing the head-on collision on U.S. 13 outside of Goldsboro, the people e injured should have strong grounds for seeking compensation and damages from the hog truck driver. By all accounts he was negligent in failing to meet his duties to stop in time to avoid a wreck and to keep his big rig under control. Consulting with an experienced Carolina personal injury lawyer will help the people in the car hold the truck driver accountable.