West Virginia motorists may be particularly worried about the dangers of truck accidents, because crashes involving semi-trucks and passenger vehicles are far more harmful to the occupants of smaller vehicles. The size and mass of large trucks mean that anyone in a crash with them is at a significant risk for a serious injury. In addition, the nature of the trucking industry can also contribute to the likelihood of an accident. After a long day on the road, even experienced truck drivers can become fatigued behind the wheel.
Each year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds a three-day inspection spree called the International Roadcheck. During this event, CMV drivers in West Virginia and across the US are liable to be stopped at random for inspections. If they pass, they receive a CVSA decal as an indicator. If not, they are issued out-of-service orders.
It's safe to assume that anyone in West Virginia who shares the road with large trucks has a vested interest in doing everything possible to improve safety. This is why two groups, the Truck Safety Coalition and Road Safe America, are asking lawmakers in Congress to require certain trucks to be outfitted with specially designed safety devices.
Most West Virginians exercise caution when driving, especially if they are traveling near large trucks. Statistics support the need for this caution. Over the last few years, there has been an uptick in the number of accidents involving ready-mix concrete trucks and dump trucks.
West Virginia drivers typically encounter all sorts of vehicles while on the highways and streets. In addition to being focused on their own driving, motorists must be constantly on the watch for danger coming from others. This is never more critical than when sharing the roadway with large transport trucks.
Truck driver fatigue can be a menace on West Virginia roads. Since commercial big rigs can cause catastrophic damage, various companies are working to develop technology that can minimize the risk posed by fatigue behind the wheel.
A horrific accident in West Virginia involving an out-of-control tractor-trailer killed two people and left a third critically injured on the morning of Oct. 11. The crash took place on the southbound lanes of Interstate 77 near Camp Creek State Park in Mercer County at approximately 10:41 a.m. Police have filed no charges in connection with the accident, but reports indicate that their investigation is ongoing.
West Virginia residents should know that the number of vehicle crash fatalities went down from 37,806 in 2016 to 37,133 in 2017: a 1.8 percent decrease. Motorcyclist, pedestrian and bicyclist deaths also decreased by 3.1, 1.7 and 8.1 percent, respectively; deaths caused by speeding and distracted driving went down as well, the former by a substantial 5.6 percent. Only one area has bucked the trend: large truck traffic fatalities.
From June 5 to 7, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance held its annual International Roadcheck. Taking place across North America, the spree resulted in 67,502 commercial truck and bus drivers being stopped and inspected for vehicle- and driver-related compliance. Truck drivers in West Virginia may be interested to know what the results were.
In August 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking that laid out the various revisions it plans to make to commercial truck drivers' hours-of-service regulations. The FMCSA is now asking for comments. These proposed changes should be of interest to truckers in West Virginia and throughout the U.S.