Truck crashes can be devastating for people in West Virginia. Because of the massive size and weight of these vehicles, the effects of a collision are far more likely to be severely damaging or even deadly to others on the road. In 2017, 4,102 people were killed in trucking accidents across the country and many thousands more were seriously injured. Indeed, 82% of people killed in these crashes were drivers or passengers in other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists.
Many people lose their lives in truck crashes when they are crushed in the open space on the side of the truck between its front and rear wheels. Between 2005 and 2009, 559 pedestrians and bicyclists lost their lives in these types of collisions. Internationally, side-impact truck crashes have been identified as a danger to others on the road. Countries around the world have mandated the installation of side guards on large, 18-wheeler trucks to prevent people from being crushed underneath in a side-impact trucking collision. These regulations have been backed up by studies in Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In the U.K., cyclist deaths in trucking collisions dropped by 61% following the mandate for truck side guards.
However, the U.S. has lagged behind the pack and has not issued any regulations mandating the use of side guards. Despite recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), no national action has been taken on the issue. Some local areas are acting on their own to mandate the guards on trucks in their areas.
For others on the road, trucking accidents can be especially dangerous, particularly when they are caused by poorly maintained vehicles or truck driver negligence. People injured in a trucking crash through no fault of their own might opt to consult with a personal injury lawyer about their options.