Drivers in West Virginia probably know intuitively that a large truck will require more stopping distance than a car. However, exactly how much more distance it takes for a truck to stop for an emergency, as opposed to a car, may come as a bit of a surprise.
It is more than just a scary incident when a large truck jackknifes on one of West Virginia's roads. After all, when the trailer of a truck sweeps out and around the cab portion of the vehicle, it almost without a doubt is going to hit any car that was traveling around the truck at the time of the accident, causing a serious or even fatal accident.
As previous posts on this blog have discussed, a distracted trucker is a hazard to all those who are sharing the road with him or her.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates truckers in West Virginia and nationwide, recognizes that a truck driver who takes his or her eyes off the road even for a few seconds constitutes a major hazard to other motorists. Specifically, the FMCSA's research suggested that a trucker who takes his or her eyes of the road ahead for the four or five seconds to check a text or make a quick call on their cell phone will travel the length of a football field effectively blind, since they do not have their eyes on the road.
Truck drivers transport goods across the entire country, which involves long hours on the roadways. As a result, truck driver fatigue and inattentiveness can be serious concerns and hazards on the roadway. To help keep the driving public safe, United States Department of Transportation trucking regulations limit the number of hours truck drivers can be behind the wheel without a break.
Many trucks that travel through Charleston and Kanawha County, West Virginia, are subject to federal trucking regulations either because they travel between states or because of the type of product they choose to haul.
Commercial trucks are some of the deadliest vehicles on the roadways of West Virginia. Many people who are involved in truck accidents don't make it home alive, leaving their families devastated emotionally and financially. For those who do survive, there is a high likelihood of severe, long-term injuries and costly medical procedures. Many truck accident victims are unable to work during their recovery, making it difficult for their families to put food on the table.
Motor vehicle accidents are responsible for thousands of injuries and deaths all across America. The rate of injuries and deaths increases if a truck is involved. Commercial trucks are large in size and difficult to maneuver for even the most well-trained truck driver. However, many truck accidents are caused by negligent drivers and could have been avoided if the driver had taken extra precautions.
Trucks on the roadways have proven to be dangerous due to their size, especially for those in passenger vehicles. According to a recent report, a fatal accident involving a tractor-trailer in West Virginia left four people dead and one injured.
While all accidents can result in serious injuries, truck accidents can be particularly devastating due to the large size of commercial trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or "FMCSA," recently revealed in their "Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2015" report that over 4,000 trucks were involved in over 3,500 fatal accidents in 2015. This is close to an 8 percent increase since 2014.