It is well known that overloaded trucks are unsafe to drive. Statistics show that overloaded cargo is a leading cause of trucking accidents, and, year after year, motorists in West Virginia and other states are placed at risk of serious injury or death by truckers whose payloads are unbalanced or overweight. In addition to other safety concerns, overloaded trucks are difficult to handle and have a reduced emergency handling capability, which could ultimately result in a crash.
West Virginia residents may have heard about the train derailment that occurred in Washington state in December 2017. At the time that the train derailed attempting to go around a curve, it was traveling at 78 miles per hour. However, the posted speed limit where the crash occurred was only 30 miles per hour. Three people were killed and 62 were injured in the accident.
With winter well underway, you and many other West Virginia motorists have likely already had your fair share of close calls on the road. Unfortunately, weather conditions can play significant roles in car accidents, and often, those incidents can easily cause serious or even fatal injuries. When individuals behind the wheel also drive recklessly or while distracted, the chances of involvement in a crash increases.
In 2016, coal mining deaths hit a record low with eight being reported. In 2017, there were 15 deaths at coal mines, and 8 of those deaths occurred in West Virginia mines. Other states to report deaths included Kentucky and Alabama. Many of these deaths occurred before a new head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration was appointed in September.
For people in West Virginia and across the United States, it's always reasonable to be concerned about a car accident when getting behind the wheel. Every year, over 60 million collisions happen across the country, and numbers have grown in both 2015 and 2016, showing signs of an escalating trend. Car accidents aren't only damaging to property; they can cause serious personal injuries or even death. This means that reducing or eliminating auto accidents is of major concern to researchers and engineers, many of whom study the causes of crashes in order to develop strategies for reducing the number of preventable injuries and accidents.