Every year, thousands of truck accidents occur throughout the United States. In Virginia, these types of accidents are more common than many people realize. It is important to be aware of the risks associated with driving around large trucks and what steps can be taken to protect yourself on the road.
What do the Statistics Say?
According to data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, approximately 2,645 truck accidents took place in Virginia in 2021. Of those incidents, 784 resulted in injuries, while 52 resulted in the loss of life. The majority of those killed or injured in these accidents were occupants of passenger vehicles – not truck drivers or other commercial vehicle operators.
In comparison, data shows that 2,356 trucking accidents occurred in 2020, with 717 resulting in injuries and 58 in fatalities. So, while fewer people died in truck accidents in 2021, the total number of accidents and injuries rose significantly.
Common Causes of Trucking Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, some of the most common reasons for trucking accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Unsafe lane changes
- Improper loading/unbalanced cargo weight
- Brake failure due to poor maintenance or overloading
- Impaired driving
Additionally, inclement weather, such as snow or ice, can make roads slick and dangerous for trucks—especially if drivers fail to take extra caution when operating their vehicles under hazardous conditions.
What You Can Do
It is crucial for all drivers—not just those operating commercial vehicles—to practice safe driving habits when sharing the roads with trucks. This includes staying aware of your surroundings and never following too closely behind a large truck or attempting to pass them unless absolutely necessary.
Further, if you need to pass a truck on the highway, make sure you have plenty of room before merging back into your original lane and that you do so as quickly as possible—trucks require much longer distances than cars to stop suddenly if needed.
Protecting Injured Virginians After Being Injured in a Truck Accident
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. An experienced attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the full compensation you deserve for any damages incurred because of another driver's negligence.
At Obenshain Law Group our team of trucking accident attorneys has more than 45 years of experience helping injured Virginians. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that serious injuries can take on individuals and their families—which is why we strive to bring justice to our clients.
If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, call us today at (540) 318-7360.