Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2013
Interstates are great for getting us from point a to point b quickly. However, interstate highways can be dangerous, especially when commercial vehicles like tractor trailers disregard safety rules intended to keep you safe.
The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that:
· In 2009, 529 tractor trailer occupants were killed in crashes;
· Yearly, almost 500,000 accidents involving tractor trailers occur;
· In 2010, there were 1.1 fatal accidents per 100 million truck miles.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that in 2010:
· 3,413 people died in accidents involving large trucks;
· 72 percent of the fatalities were occupants of a vehicle other than the tractor trailer;
· Large trucks accounted for 4 percent of registered motor vehicles but 9 percent of motor vehicle collision deaths; and
· 75 percent of truck wrecks involving fatalities were tractor trailers and 25 percent were single large trucks.
Trucks can weigh more than 30 times more than a regular car. This means that when a collision between a large truck and a regular car occurs, the people in the car are much more likely to get hurt.
The trucking industry in the United States is highly regulated. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require motor carriers and freight companies transporting commercial goods on interstate highways to retain certain information and to follow certain safety rules. These include but are not limited to:
· Prohibitions on texting while driving;
· Prohibitions on driving more than 11 consecutive hours over a 14 hour shift;
· Operating the commercial motor vehicle free of drugs and/or alcohol;
· Driving the speed limit;
· Requiring carriers to create routes that allow a truck driver to get from point a to point b with enough time so as not to break the speed limit; and
· Prohibitions on driving while fatigued or sick.
West Virginia’s interstate highway system, including Interstate 81, Interstate 79, Interstate 68 and Interstate 64 provide West Virginians with good transportation options to get around our state. However, these routes are also used heavily by large commercial vehicles, like tractor trailers, to move commercial goods throughout our state and to other parts of the country. This means that drivers should take extra care when driving around tractor trailers in order to ensure safer travel.
If you or a love one has been injured as a result of a tractor trailer wreck, it is important to discuss your case with attorneys who know and understand the regulations of the trucking industry and who can assist you in navigating your claims against the truck driver and the various companies that could be liable for your injuries.