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.
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.
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.