Big Rig Accidents in West Virginia

Big Rig Accidents in West Virginia

West Virginia has more than 38,770 miles of public roads, 34,691 state owned highways, 3,244 municipally owned roads, 835 federally owned and 555 state owned Interstate highways. Additionally, the state has 87 miles of West Virginia Turnpike. Large trucks include vehicles that weigh over 10,000 pounds and up to 26,000 pounds. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, large trucks do not include buses or motor homes for purposes of reporting.

Big Rig Crashes

Big rigs were involved in accidents with injuries and fatalities. It is helpful to review data from the previous 5 years to see the trends that are occurring.

YearFatal Truck Crashes

The data shows that the number of fatal semi-truck crashes rose in 2012 and 2013 but then decreased significantly in 2014 and 2015.

In 2015 there was a total of 268 motor vehicle crash deaths of all types. Of these, there were 4 semi-truck occupant deaths or 1% of fatalities on the roads. 78 deaths, 29%, happened in urban locations and 190, 71% occurred in rural places. 115 deaths were the result of single-vehicle collisions, and 111 were multi-vehicle.

Large Truck Crash Causation

The Large Truck Crash Causation Study, LTCCS, is a report that studied big rig accidents and what caused them. Various factors may contribute to a semi- truck crash. In some cases, more than one thing contributed to a crash. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to Yield
  • Tailgating
  • Inappropriate lane changes
  • Improper turns
  • Failure to stop

These issues are considered human error and could have been avoided. Defective equipment can also cause accidents. Damaged tires and faulty brake systems are just two of the most commonly reported types of large truck equipment malfunctions. Trucks are supposed to be properly inspected to avoid failures.

Driver errors are also responsible for some collisions. Truck drivers who travel across the country are more apt to suffer drowsiness while driving. 13% of truck drivers were found to be tired at the time of a fatal crash. Up to three-quarters of all truck drivers reported having made a mistake because of driving tired at least one time while behind the wheel. Driving while tired has the same effect on drivers as does driving while intoxicated. Additionally, a driver could fall asleep very easily, especially when traveling on long, straight stretches of roadways.

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