North Carolina (NC) made a top-10 list, but it’s not exactly the type of top-10 list the Tar Heel state would like to be on. The state is ranked sixth in the nation for total accidents involving tractor-trailers.
Why is NC so frequently the scene of truck crashes? Well, in 2009, over 50 percent of the trucks inspected in NC had maintenance or safety violations, according to ABC News. Of those faulty trucks, over 12 percent were in such bad shape that they were immediately parked and put "out of service".
With such a high percentage of problematic trucks on NC highways like Interstate 77 (I-77), I-40, I-85, and I-95, you might think more inspections are taking place to ensure these trucks are taken off the roads. Unfortunately, no such luck.
According to data from the NC Highway Patrol, over nine million trucks, big rigs, trailers, and 18-wheelers came through state weigh stations in 2009, but less than one percent of these vehicles actually received a safety inspection.
Another problem is that North Carolina weigh stations are only open 16 hours a day, 5 days a week and there are times when no troopers are on duty to perform truck inspections. This is in contrast to other states where weigh stations are open all day and night.
NC Highway Trooper Travis Ingold told ABC News, "It’s the manpower we have. We need more troopers. We need more of us that are certified inspectors."
Government officials need to take a serious look at this issue. Having little-to-no oversight on these massive trucks is a major safety concern. The data is clear – more inspections need to be conducted and the trucks with serious mechanical errors like faulty brakes, worn down tires, and so forth need to be taken off the road for everyone’s sake.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (NC-VA law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard, Virginia Beach Injuryboard, and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.