Encountering trucks on a Virginia street or highway can be an intimidating experience. This is likely because most drivers understand the devastation that can occur for those involved in truck accidents. The size and weight of a tractor-trailer or other large commercial vehicle can result in catastrophic injuries and even death. Understanding the common causes of truck accidents is important for victims and families of these tragedies.
Speed is a factor in most accidents, but when a truck is involved, it can mean the difference between life and death. A speeding truck requires more time and space to stop, and this often means the driver is unable to stop the vehicle in time to avoid a collision. When weather conditions are poor or roads are unfamiliar to the driver, high speed alone may not be the cause of a deadly accident.
Just like any other driver, a trucker may allow fatigue, illness or distraction to interfere with his or her ability to operate the truck safely. Distraction is the most common cause of traffic accidents, and fatigue follows closely behind, especially for truckers. A truck driver who fails to comply with mandated rest breaks may place the lives of countless travelers in danger.
Investigators looking into truck accidents may also consider the mechanical condition of the truck. Poor maintenance may prevent a driver from operating the vehicle safely, and there may be numerous entities who carry responsibility for a deadly collision. For this reason, victims may benefit from the help of a Virginia attorney who understands the complexities of commercial vehicle accidents.
Large trucks are an integral part of our economy. We depend on them to transport food, fuel and other vital goods and commodities to our communities. But truck safety is an ongoing challenge.
Truck wrecks claimed the lives of 4,761 people in 2017 and injured tens of thousands of others. The vast majority of trucks involved in fatal accidents were tractor-trailers, and more than 70 percent of those who were killed were the occupants of cars and other vehicles.