The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has reported there were 33 deaths in 2022 where cars and trucks collided, vs. 11 deaths in 2021. In most of these cases, it was determined the fault was with the car driver.
Two hundred percent is a significant spike. Careful study will be needed to sort out why 2022 saw so much trouble on the road. In general, though, it’s useful to know what often causes accidents, so as to avoid them.
Overworked truck drivers: With the recent global health crisis, there has been a great increase in cargo being shipped by truck, and the trucking industry hasn’t been able to keep up with demand. Not enough drivers mean that , per driver, there is more cargo being carried than before, more deadlines and more stress.
Bad weather: In any year of any decade, rain, fog, snow and high winds increase the chance of a driver losing control of his vehicle.
Construction and blocked roads: Trucks are forced to take detours, which means that they could encounter more unexpected twists and turns.
Heavy or unbalanced loads: There’s always a risk of a large load not being distributed evenly, which in an off moment can cause a loss of control.
Trucking equipment failure: Despite the strict requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, lapses in maintenance, defective design or the failure to meet these requirements can cause disastrous outcomes.
Not keeping a safe distance: Loaded trucks traveling 55 mph need up to 400 feet to stop. If other drivers don’t give trucks their space, they’re courting disaster.
Distracted driving: Truck drivers are now prohibited from texting and driving. If they want to conduct a voice conversation, they must use a hands-free phone that is close by. Would that were true of all drivers!
Sadly, a collision with a truck can be a disaster for all concerned. To navigate the legal fallout successfully, it’s best to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.