Interstate 81 Truck Accidents
If a negligent truck driver hit you on Interstate 81 in Virginia, you may have the right to recover compensation for your losses. Let an experienced truck accident lawyer fight to secure the financial recovery and justice you deserve.
When you contact Kendall Law Firm for a free initial case evaluation, you will learn how our firm works tirelessly to hold careless or reckless truck drivers or trucking companies accountable for injuring innocent people in devastating truck crashes. With over 30 years of legal experience helping accident victims, Attorney David Kendall has dedicated his career to serving people, not corporations or insurers. Over the years, our firm has built a proven record of success, including multiple six- and seven-figure awards for our clients. Contact us today to get started with your recovery.
Large Truck Accident Statistics
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 4,714 people died in large truck crashes in one recent year, a 17 percent increase from the previous year. Some additional statistics from the IIHS include:
- Truck occupants accounted for 16 percent of large truck crash fatalities.
- Occupants of other vehicles accounted for 68 percent of fatalities.
- Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians accounted for 15 percent of fatalities.
- Passenger vehicle occupants accounted for 97 percent of vehicle occupants killed in crashes involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle.
- Eleven percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities occurred in large truck crashes.
- 74 percent of fatal truck crashes involved a tractor-trailer, while 27 percent involved a single-unit truck.
- 63 percent of large truck occupants killed in multiple vehicle crashes died in collisions with another large truck.
- 36 percent of fatal large truck crashes occurred on interstates or freeways.
- 48 percent of truck accidents occurred on major roads other than interstates and freeways.
- 16 percent of crashes happened on minor roads.
- About half of all fatal large truck crashes happened between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., compared to about 28 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents not involving large trucks during that same period.
The National Safety Council reports that about 117,300 large trucks had accidents resulting in an injury, which was a 12 percent increase from the previous year.
About Interstate 81
I-81 is an interstate highway running north-south from the Canadian border in New York State to the intersection with Interstate 40 in Dandridge, Tennessee. Interstate 81 runs along many of the same paths created along the Appalachian Mountains and through the Great Appalachian Valley, roughly parallel to the older US-11 highway.
The interstate has a total length of approximately 855 miles. Virginia contains the longest portion of the highway of any state. The 325-mile portion of Interstate 81 running through Virginia begins at the West Virginia border near Winchester and ends at the Tennessee state line near Bristol. In Virginia, Interstate 81 runs through or near communities such as Bristol, Roanoke, Lexington, Staunton, and Harrisonburg. Because the interstate runs through largely rural areas, the highway sees significant commercial trucking traffic since truck drivers often use Interstate 81 as an alternative to busier highways such as Interstate 95.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Many truck accidents occur because of a truck driver’s or trucking company’s negligence. Due to the complexity of large commercial trucks, a careless error can lead to a devastating crash. Some of the most frequent causes of truck accidents on Interstate 81 include:
- Distracted Driving: Truck drivers have multiple demands on their attention while driving, including operating the truck, watching other traffic on the road, and following route instructions. A truck driver who engages in other distracting activities, such as eating or drinking, grooming, using a cell phone, or daydreaming, can cause a severe crash.
- Drowsy Driving: Although trucking regulations limit truck drivers’ hours on duty or behind the wheel, truckers still spend long hours on the road. And because truck drivers frequently drive at night to take advantage of less traffic, truckers face a significant risk of drowsy or fatigued driving.
- Speeding: Some truck drivers exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for conditions to meet strict delivery deadlines.
- Impaired Driving: Unfortunately, some truckers turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with long days on the road.
- Cargo Issues: Loading too much cargo into a truck or trailer, not balancing the load weight, or failing to secure cargo from shifting during travel can result in a truck driver losing control of their vehicle, possibly causing a dangerous jackknife accident.
- Unsafe Turns or Lane Changes: Improper wide turning or not using turn signals and mirrors can lead to collisions with other vehicles.
- Disregarding Traffic Controls: Running red lights or stop signs, failing to yield, or ignoring vehicle weight or height restrictions can lead to a truck crash.
- Reckless Driving: Examples of reckless driving behaviors include excessive speeding or swerving through traffic or around vehicles.
- Inadequate Maintenance: Deferring inspections and maintenance of trucks and trailers can lead to mechanical issues that trigger a crash or collision.
Where and When Do the Majority of Truck Accidents Happen?
According to the National Safety Council, 54.53 percent of fatal large truck accidents in one recent year occurred in urban areas, compared to 45.47 percent of accidents occurring in rural areas. About 26 percent of fatal accidents occurred on interstates, while around 5.5 percent of fatal crashes happened in work zones. About 63.5 percent of fatal large truck accidents happened during the daytime, while about 36.5 percent occurred at night. September had the highest number of fatal large truck accidents with 515, followed by August with 493, October with 488, and July with 470.
The IIHS further reports that fatal large truck accidents most frequently occurred on Wednesdays and Thursdays, both of which had 18 percent of all fatal large truck crashes. Monday, Tuesday, and Friday each saw 16 percent of fatal crashes, while Saturday and Sunday combined had about 16 percent of accidents.
Contact a Trusted Attorney to Help with Your Interstate 81 Truck Accident
If you were hurt in a truck accident on Interstate 81 in Virginia, you need experienced legal representation. Let us help you stand up to the trucking companies and insurers to demand financial recovery for your injuries and losses. Contact Kendall Law Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options with a knowledgeable truck accident attorney.