Did you know that Virginia is one of the most at-risk states when it comes to fatal 18 wheeler accidents? It holds a dangerously higher up position on the threat scale, by some estimates, it is easily among the top 14!
The state’s roadways are not ideal when it comes to facilitating commercial trucks and semi-trucks.
With all of the winding roads and uneven topographical features dotted across the state, it is especially hard for truck drivers, even skilled ones, to traverse through the roadways.
Not a single month passes by without a major passenger vehicle accident fatality in the region, and this is not only because of the want for enhanced federal regulation but also because of an inherently higher risk of commercial motor vehicle accidents in the state.
And those who’re lucky enough to slip past the ghastly clutches of death, still have to contend with the enormous financial, physical, and emotional pressures following such accidents.
This article will explain why truck accidents are so dangerous in Virginia, what you can do about them, and how an experienced personal injury attorney can help.
A Peek Into The Virginia 18 Wheeler Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shortened as NHTSA, a federal agency designed to keep the roads safe, has gathered data over the years, to examine the extent of damage done by commercial truck accidents in the USA.
This compilation of statistics spreads over several years.
The revelations made by this set of data are unsettling, to say the least.
Of every 26 drivers on the roads of Virginia, one is involved in an accident (as of 2017). The rate of accidents has only gone higher up ever since as it did before. For instance, there were 45 fatal truck accidents in the state in 2017, and in such incidents, 12 truckers lost their lives.
This fraction is only a nominal pie piece from the 843 people who lost their lives to traffic accidents in 2017, a whopping 10.8% more than the year before that. The same was true for 2016 which showed a 2% increase in the fatality stats when compared to 2015.
Such a staggering increase in the stats for traffic accident fatalities and fatal accidents (including single-vehicle accidents, 18-wheeler truck accidents, etc.) involving licensed drivers, is worrisome, to say the least.
Of course, many tractor-trailer accidents don’t result in deaths but do cause some serious damage nonetheless demanding fair compensation via auto accident insurance coverage.
We can only hope for better safety but in the meantime, it pays to be extra careful and completely aware of one’s surroundings.
Also, if you were involved in a truck accident or lost a loved one to wrongful death because of one, then make haste in contacting a team of experienced attorneys to get compensated fairly for your medical costs and other losses.
Comparison With Other States
Apart from a couple of other states that have higher truck accident fatality rates and elevated risks for dangerous accidents (such as the neighboring West Virginia), the state of Virginia is miles ahead of the baseline risk factor of fatal crashes, with most states not even coming close in comparison.
For instance, the fatalities per 100,000 population for 2019 in Massachusetts were 4.8, much lower than the whopping 9.7 in Virginia and the same is true for Minnesota at 6.5.
Of course, raw numbers alone don’t represent the risk factor of fatal truck accidents because there are several other factors to consider such as population sizes, the ratio of licensed drivers to unlicensed ones, and whatnot.
For instance, California, which hosts the biggest population density in the USA, at over 39 million residents (2019 data), compared to 8.5 million in Virginia (in the same year), had 3,316 accident fatalities in comparison to 774 in Virginia.
At first look, you may jump to the conclusion that California poses a much greater risk in this regard but that’s not the case. A more careful analysis will reveal that there are several other factors that come into play here, for instance, if the population difference is factored in, then this illusion of numbers fades away.
The ratios of fatal accidents per 100,000 settle at 9.1 in California versus a higher (even if only slightly) 9.7 in Virginia for the same year.
The heightened risk in the state is thus evident from these stats.
Truck accident victims should not wait for an instant to contact experienced lawyers and charge forward with their truck accident claims; who knows, things may conform into a truck accident lawsuit if the insurance adjuster refuses to cooperate.
Reasons For The Elevated Risk In Virginia
Why is it so?
Why does Virginia, an absolute beauty, guaranteed to awe and inspire you with its majestic charm, so much at-risk for truck accidents?
Here are a couple of reasons:
Inherent Accident Risk Posed By Trucks
Semi – trucks are, by their very nature, difficult to handle. The enormous size coupled with the high momentum, when traveling at high speeds, makes them very threatening for others. If there are some manufacturing defects in the vehicle such as an inadequate braking system or problems with the tires, things will only be worsened.
Such negligence from truck manufacturers is not unheard of in truck wreck claims.
But of course, this much is not exclusive only to Virginia, let’s dive deeper into the reasons that account for this elevated risk associated with driving trucks and commercial vehicles in the region specifically.
Just remember never to put off calling a truck accident attorney when disaster strikes!
Human error and negligence, though not limited only to the streets of Virginia, is indeed an important factor at play. Negligence accidents make up the bulk of automobile crash cases throughout the state and the same is also true for truck crashes.
Things will only worsen if the effects of drowsy driving (due to cruel duty hours), drunk driving, distracted driving, or not wearing seat belts are factored in.
A little care can pay back dearly!
In such cases, the commercial trucking company (or the truck owner) is also considered a responsible party in the matter.
And if the semi-truck crash caused serious losses, then the victims may be awarded punitive damages (i.e. for devastating injuries, permanent disabilities, etc.) according to Virginia’s legal framework, since it is a “fault state,” thus swelling up their financial compensation.
Be sure to seek legal advice before settling for a sum in such personal injury claims, because you probably deserve much more!
The state has its fair share in rough terrain and challenging topography; the heightened elevation, coupled with a complex and unique geographical setting has played a major role in causing trucking accidents.
Moreover, certain hard-to-navigate roads create blind spots for commercial truck drivers which are again a huge problem.
Rapid Fluctuations In The Weather Conditions
With an increase in the vertical elevation, the temperature falls drastically and there is an increase in precipitation. Rain may turn into hail or snow, depending on the exact location within the state. Such diverse and challenging weather (and subject to rapid change), completely unpredictable for an outsider, is also a major factor here.
However, with all said and done, driver error continues to stand at the number one position for causing such crashes.
The VACAIL Law Firm Is Here For You
Being a truck accident victim is one of the most devastating experiences that one can face in their life. You need to be extra brave and pull your emotions and thoughts together if you’re going to demand financial compensation from the insurance companies for your losses (i.e. medical bills due to catastrophic injuries, property damage, wrongful death, etc.)
Don’t expect anything good out of the greedy insurance companies, they are only going to downplay your sufferings and losses, and cut down your compensation sum however they can.
Thus you should never delay seeking the services of experienced truck accident lawyers with excessive legal experience, and pursuing the legal process for a fair settlement.
If you’re worried about having to pay an advance on the legal fees or for consultation, then fret not, because, at the VACAIL law firm, we only wish to help you get through such troubled times.
We won’t burden you with any payment dues, instead, you’ll only have to pay when you win your claim – that’s how much confident we are about our professional excellence.
Call us today, and let us help you explore your legal rights!
Let's get started with your free consultation!