It is not unusual to see logging trucks anywhere in Virginia, and motorists try to give these massive and heavy vehicles plenty of room. Unfortunately, accidents happen and sometimes it is because of an overloaded truck.
Truck crashes happen for an array of reasons, from intoxication caused by alcohol or drugs to speeding and icy roads. However, truck driver fatigue is a major concern in Vinton, and across all parts of Virginia. If you are the victim of a truck accident, you should explore any legal options that are open to you, regardless of the reasons why a truck driver may have caused an accident. However, it is especially important for those who drive large trucks to recognize the warning signs of fatigue and take action to prevent fatigued driving.
Drug use among truck drivers across the globe has often been associated with several common factors, all of which are present in the United States. In a study published by Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the factors most closely tied to drug use by truck drivers include longer trips, isolation, sleep deprivation, desire for higher income, inexperience, driving at night, alcohol use, trucking for smaller companies, earnings based on production and where actual income is below expected income. The substances most commonly studied in connection with truck drivers include alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines. The study reported that amphetamine use worldwide was mostly commonly associated with poor working conditions.
If a tractor trailer jackknifes and swings around in front of you suddenly on a Virginia roadway, slamming on your brakes may not keep you from hitting the side of it. According to the Commercial Carrier Journal, in a midsize sedan going 35 mph or faster, you will slide under the trailer at any point except the areas blocked by the hitch or wheels.
While you may have undergone extensive training and field experience and received the appropriate licensure in Virginia, none of these factors guarantee your safety when driving a tractor trailer. Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to be a more vigilant driver and protect yourself and other drivers on the road. At Cranwell & Moore P.L.C., we are familiar with the unique risks faced by truck drivers every day.
Many truck accidents that occur on the roads in Roanoke County are avoidable. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, many truckers violate federal law and work shifts that are longer than 11 hours. Doing so can result in truckers being too tired to give the roads the attention they deserve. Some of them may resort to using medications, drugs and even alcohol to keep themselves alert. Others may use these substances when they are off work.
Many large trucks travel through and within Virginia, making truck accidents a concern for everyone on the roadways. We know at Cranwell & Moore PLC Attorneys at Law that you try to be safe when you are driving, but sometimes that is not enough. To understand more about truck accidents, it helps to know why they happen. According to UnsafeTrucks.org, common causes of truck accidents include unrealistic company expectations or policies, fatigue, improper loading, driving under the influence, lack of training and equipment failure.
Federal guidelines require truck drivers to maintain a log of their activities in Virginia. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a new rule for trucking logs effective for most truckers in December 2017 requires all logs to be electronically maintained. It is important to note that electronic logging devices are replacing old paper systems and automatic onboard recording devices, but the implementation date for AORDs is later than for paper systems.
Motor vehicle crash statistics gathered from law enforcement reports and other sources are used to determine causation, and develop strategies to lower the number of injuries and fatalities each year. Federal and Virginia lawmakers have spent significant time over the past several decades reviewing this data as it relates to large trucks, and drafting laws that attempt to curtail the dangers associated with large commercial vehicles.
When driving down any road in Virginia, people in passenger vehicles can understandably feel vulnerable when coming upon large semi trucks and other types of commercial vehicles. The size and weight differential between tractor trailers and cars, pickup trucks and other vehicles can make a bit difference in the outcome of an accident between them.