Most West Virginia motorists realize that commercial truck accidents have the potential to be a lot more dangerous than passenger vehicle crashes. This is due in part to the size difference between an 18-wheeler and a passenger vehicle. Most passenger cars are going to weigh around 4,000 pounds. An 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Understandably, truck accidents can lead to injury and death. While it’s possible for the truck driver to get injured, more times than not, it’s the individual in the passenger vehicle who is hurt the worst.
Because of the size of the vehicles they are operating, truck drivers need to be more responsible when on the road. But they are human like everyone else and can make mistakes. Some truck drivers are on the road for many hours and find themselves driving while drowsy. Others drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, are distracted by cellular phones or drive recklessly in an attempt to meet deadlines.
Passenger vehicles also play a role in these accidents. Some studies have shown that the vast majority (up to 81%) of trucking accidents occur because of mistakes made by a passenger vehicle driver. This shows the importance of truckers driving defensively and keeping a safe distance from passenger vehicles. Truck drivers must be patient with inpatient passenger vehicles and reckless drivers. They should also do their due diligence to keep their trucks maintained and safe.
A large truck accident can drastically change the lives of victims. If the accident was caused by a negligent truck driver, defective auto-parts or some other at-fault party, an injured victim may be entitled to compensation. A personal injury attorney could help the victim gather information surrounding the accident and then work with professionals in an attempt to determine liability.