What do you fear most about driving in North Carolina? I have friends who refuse to drive anywhere in the Triangle from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm because of the extreme traffic on most of the major roadways… and I have been known to go out of my way to avoid driving on I-40 between Raleigh and Chapel Hill because of the dangerous merge patterns.
Recent news stories of highway crashes have highlighted some of the major problems HensonFuerst Attorneys has been investigating, our “Wreck Complicators”:
1. Defective highway construction. This can include improper lane design, construction defects, guardrail defects, and other physical problems related to roads. If you know of a section of road that is a frequent site of car wrecks, it is quite possible that the road design is defective. Insurance companies will try to blame it on driver error, but accidents continually happen on the same stretch of road, there’s more than driver error to blame. Think of it like a sidewalk where one of the concrete slabs has heaved up. Under ideal circumstances, people will see the uneven pavement and step over it–but many, many people will trip and become injured. Even excellent drivers can get in an accident if they have to merge unexpectedly…or if road conditions force them to stop abruptly…or if they don’t see traffic ahead due to a sharp bend in the road.
2. Tractor-trailers. While most tractor-trailer drivers are safe and responsible on the road, some are not…and the wrecks they cause are devastating. Truck drivers have guidelines that require them to rest after a certain number of hours on the road. Unfortunately, some trucking companies “encourage” their drivers to alter their logs and drive longer than is safe (or risk losing their jobs). Then, after driving for 24 hours straight, amped up on caffeine or even amphetamines, even good truck drivers can become lethal weapons on the road.
3. Fires and explosions. Cars are not supposed to catch fire or explode, no matter what the impact. That’s something that is only supposed to happen in movies. In real life, cars that catch fire or explode during a wreck may have a defective design. That’s something we actively investigate for our motor vehicle accident clients.
Here are two scary examples that, together, seem to incorporate all three of our Wreck Complicators.
Last week, seven people were injured–including two who had to be freed from a crushed car–in a four-vehicle crash on I-85 near Charlotte, NC. According to an article on CharlotteObserver.com, the wreck was started by a car that cut too close in front of a large truck. The truck driver slammed on the brakes, causing a chain-reaction wreck that included an SUV, a small Ford, a tractor-triler, and a pick-up truck.
That accident was bad enough, but what makes it part of our Wreck Complicators is that it happened at nearly the same spot as a fiery fatal wreck five days earlier. In that accident, also on I-85, a woman was killed when her SUV was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer–the driver apparently didn’t notice that traffic had slowed. The SUV burst into flames.
These stories cover it all: A highway with multiple accidents pointing to a possibility of defective construction…tractor-trailer driver not stopping in time, pointing to the possibility that the driver was not safe…and an SUV that burst into flames after being hit from behind. These Wreck Complicators should all be investigated and considered by attorneys representing the injured victims, or the family of the woman who perished.
What HensonFuerst Is Doing
At HensonFuerst, we pay close attention to Wreck Complicators. In fact, we are actively investigating dangerous highways in North Carolina, with the hope that defects can be corrected before more people are injured.
Among the most dangerous roads in North Carolina: I-77 in Surrey County, I-85, I-75, I-95, and I-40. In the coming three years, we predict that another stretch of road will join the ranks of the infamous: I-40 and I-440 south of Raleigh. An 11.5-mile stretch of road will be repaired, requiring closing lanes, adding auxiliary lanes, and otherwise making a mess of travel on this road. (To read more about the construction, see the article on WRAL.com: Construction to clog interstate)
In addition, HensonFuerst is diligent in reviewing all the facts of each accident to see if the Wreck Complicators are part of the story. If so, we factor them into the way we seek justice and compensation for our clients.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle wreck and you would like to explore your legal options, please feel free to contact HensonFuerst anytime, day or night, at 1-800-4-LAWMED. Or visit our webpage for more information and an online consultation request (www.hensonfuerst.com/AutoAccident/). Life Doesn’t Wait…call HensonFuerst today.