Big Rig Accidents in Virginia
Big rigs are also known as semi-trucks or 18-wheelers. They are necessary for the transport of many of our goods; however, they can also be involved in serious and sometimes fatal crashes. In Virginia, there was a total of 753 people killed in traffic collisions in 2015. This number is a 7.57% increase over 2014. 65,029 people were injured, an uptick of 2.60% over 2014. At the same time, the number of miles that were traveled increased by 2.45% and registered vehicles in the state rose to 8,005,505 showing an increase of 1.36%.
In 2015 there was a total of 77 people killed as a result of large truck crashes in Virginia. This number represents 10.2% of total traffic fatalities. The majority of drivers, 98.9%, were not impaired by alcohol at the time of the crash.
Vehicle action at the time of fatal crash:
- Traveling straight ahead – 44.5%
- Ran off road – 10%
- Changing lanes – 9.0%
- Stopped in traffic – 12%
- Turning left – 5.9%
- Turning right – 3.5%
Other actions included backing up, passing and making a u-turn. Some vehicle actions were not reported.
Most fatal accidents happened in daylight while about a quarter of them occurred at night on a lighted road. About 14.4% occurred at night on an unlit roadway. About 3% happened at dawn and 3.1% at dusk.
Factors that Contribute to Fatal Accidents
There are various factors that may contribute to fatal incidents on the roadways. Environmental, human error and vehicle defects are among the most common factors cited. Most deadly collisions in 2015 happened with no adverse weather conditions. Rain was cited 13.1% of the time, mist 1.5%, snow 4.2%, fog 0.7% and sleet 0.9%.
Vehicle defects that were reported as contributing factors included problems with brakes, tires, lights, motor, and steering for a total of less than 4%. Most reported no applicable defect that caused the collision. Physical issues contributed to some collisions. Fatigue, drowsiness, and feeling ill were reported in just fewer than 3% of deadly incidents. Other reported causes included:
- Following too close – 9.12%
- Improper lane change – 8.28%
- Failure to yield – 4.41%
- Speeding – 2.65%
- Ran traffic light – 1.73%
- Improper turn – 2.36%
- Avoiding another vehicle – 1.64%
- Left of center – 1.09%
- Improper passing – 1.13%
It should be noted that more than one contributing factor may be noted per accident and that some accidents may not indicate any such factors.