Driving a big truck requires you to practice vigilance as your job description includes the need to drive long hours, sometimes-treacherous terrain and in a vehicle that can be temperamental at times. Additionally, depending on who you work for, the loads you transport could pose unique risks of their own. Protecting yourself and other motorists in Virginia requires you to drive responsibly and stay aware of your surroundings and any potential hazards so you can safely handle them before they become dangerous.
You might not give much thought to the large, bureaucratic businesses that keep 18-wheelers out on the Virginia highways. However, you will have no choice but to deal with these companies, at least to some extent, if you are involved in a truck accident.
When people encounter a slow-moving truck on the highway in Virginia, they often look for the fastest way to get past it so they can continue moving freely to their destination. While passing large trucks is certainly not prohibited, it can be incredibly dangerous if people do not take the necessary precautions to pass with safety.
For most drivers across Virginia, encountering commercial trucks is a common occurrence, but when cars and semi-trucks get into wrecks, it is often the people in the smaller vehicles who suffer the most. For this reason, it is imperative that the professionals driving those large, heavy trucks exercise extreme care while doing so, but regrettably, this is often not the case. Instead, commercial truck drivers are turning to drugs and alcohol at distressing rates, which can dramatically impact their driving ability. At Cranwell & Moore, P.L.C., we understand that truck driver recklessness often has catastrophic consequences, and we have assisted many people who suffered an injury or lost a loved one because of trucker negligence seek recourse.
While driving in Virginia, it’s important to pay special attention whether you are a truck driver yourself, or sharing the roads with them. According to Forbes, in 2015, there were over 400,000 crashes involving large trucks. These crashes resulted in 116,000 injuries and 4,000 deaths.
No doubt you have been in a vehicle on the highways of Virginia when debris appears, seemingly from nowhere, and strikes the windshield. Sometimes, this startles everyone in the car, but in other cases, cargo flying or falling from a commercial truck can have devastating effects on the vehicles in its path. Regardless of the level of damage the cargo causes, the Code of Virginia has something to say about who is responsible.
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).
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.
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.
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.