West Virginia motorists might very well be concerned about the rise in fatalities linked to trucking crashes. Due to the size and weight of semi trucks, a collision involving an 18-wheeler poses a severe threat to the lives and well-being of others in smaller passenger vehicles. While drowsy, drunk or distracted driving pose a threat in any vehicle, a negligent truck driver can do significant damage. Of course, truck accidents are caused by a range of factors. However, regardless of the reason, it is clear that the number of deaths is growing across the country.
In 2017, over 4,100 people died in truck accidents. Of those, 17 percent were occupants of the truck, while 68 percent were occupants of other vehicles. Another 14 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. This number marks a 28 percent increase in fatal trucking crashes since 2009. Safety advocates warn that this is a dangerous trend that requires a response. They say that if similar accident figures were connected to another form of transportation like airline or railway services, there would be a public outcry for change and serious attention to the crisis.
In particular, some safety activists are calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue new regulations that could help to avoid some of the particularly deadly rear-end truck accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended certain reforms for many years, but the NHTSA has not taken action to move toward implementing new safety rules for large trucks.
Trucking accidents can have devastating consequences for everyone involved, leading to severe injuries and lifelong disabilities. People injured in a truck crash caused by the negligence of the truck driver or company could meet with an attorney in order to see what recourse they might have.