GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) – The Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) is urging drivers to take caution on state roads and to report dangerous drivers after an uptick of crashes in George County.

A truck carrying wood chips tipped over on MS Hwy 57 at Broome School Road on Wednesday, March 1, closing a northbound lane on the intersection for over four hours.

“Some of the common causes of semi crashes are the same for cars,” said Trooper Cal Robertson. “The driver’s either going too fast, inattention of the driver, or there’s equipment malfunction. We’ve also seen a lot of times where passenger cars cut off a commercial vehicle.”

In 2022, troopers responded to 230 commercial vehicle crashes in the six coastal counties that make up MHP Troop K. George County’s share is up for the beginning for the year with three semi rollovers in just over a month.

A log truck tipped over on the Highways 63 and 26 connector on Monday, Feb. 27, blocking traffic in the Hwy 63N lane from 11 a.m. to 1:20 p.m.

Exactly one month before that, on Jan. 27, the same north ramp was shut down for about four hours while a semi hauling wood chips blocked the road after tipping over.

Commercial drivers are taught to slow down around curves and at intersections, and have a lower speed limit on some sections of roads.

If drivers see any vehicle swerving, speeding, or operating dangerously, they should not hesitate to call law enforcement when it is safe to do so, Robertson says.

When the trucks tip over, the spilled loads can create a greater hazard to other drivers and first responders, causing more accidents or a lengthy clean-up process, especially if it is hauling hazardous or flammable materials.

Even when drivers are operating safely, MHP encourages other motorists to give trucks extra space to navigate state highways, especially in construction zones, and on narrow rural roads. Mechanical failures like blown front steering tires have also been a more common issue in recent months.

“Give these commercial vehicles room to operate, especially in high winds and severe weather. They cannot stop on a dime, he said. “If a truck or trailer’s load is leaning over and it’s got 80,000 pounds, you drive by and for some reason the load shifts, you could get caught under that in a passenger car. So it’s always best to kind of stay back.”

Anyone with concerns on state highways can call *47 in the event of an emergency.