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Keeping impaired truck drivers from driving

It is not difficult to imagine the danger that a drunk driver poses to others on Roanoke County's roads. That danger is compounded even further if said drunk driver is operating a semi-truck or tractor-trailer. Most would likely want to give truckers the benefit of the doubt when it comes to accidents, largely due to wanting to believe that such professionals would never do something as reckless as driving while impaired. And while accident data shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proves that truckers are involved in significantly fewer alcohol related crashes than other types of drivers, it still shows it to be a problem (with 2 percent of all large truck accidents in 2014 attributed to drivers with blood-alcohol concentrations of .08 or higher). 

What leads to jackknifing?

When a semi-truck takes a turn too fast and goes into a skid in Virginia, it could cause the trailer to turn at an angle to the front of the truck, leading to what is called a jackknife accident. The term "jackknife" hails from the knife with a folding blade that forms an angle with its handle. A jackknife trucking accident can force your truck to roll over, potentially damaging other cars around it and hurting you and other drivers. 

What causes so many tanker truck rollover crashes?

Tanker trucks carry liquid loads on the roadways of Virginia and across the United States. As you may expect, cargo is often hazardous chemicals, such as gasoline, which, in a crash, could lead to fires, explosions and other catastrophes. With these additional dangers, safe transport becomes even more important. Unfortunately, this type of truck has additional stability factors that make a crash more likely.

Truck crashes and social media activity

If you were recently struck by a commercial vehicle or a large truck, different complications may be present in your life. From pain due to an injury and financial struggles to mental trauma, you may be stressed out or even angry about what took place, which is certainly understandable. Sometimes, people decide to share these thoughts and their experiences on social media. However, it is important to be careful when it comes to online activity, especially if you intended to file an insurance claim or go to court.

Obstructed vision and truck crashes

Large truck collisions occur for an array of reasons, whether they happen due to trucker fatigue, intoxication, or excessive speeds. However, there are other factors that can lead to a large truck wreck, such as obstructed vision. For example, if a truck driver (or the driver of another vehicle) are unable to see the road due to an obstruction, they may collide with another vehicle. With blind spots, this can be especially problematic when it comes to truck crashes. Moreover, our law firm is well aware of the other ways in which an inability to see the road properly can lead to a crash.

How can truck driver fatigue be prevented?

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 by CDL drivers and drug testing by DOT

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.

Is truck technology enough to prevent underride deaths?

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.

Staying safe behind the wheel of a tractor trailer

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.

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