People risk their lives every time they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Thousands of people are killed in car accidents every year in the United States. But the odds of dying increase when a Clarksburg car accident also involves a commercial truck.
Fatal Truck Accident Statistics
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shed some light on different types of truck accidents. These figures indicate that about 1 out of every 8 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. involve a large truck. Of these, about 63% of them involve another vehicle - which is often a motorist in a car that is much smaller than a tractor-trailer.
This data indicates that over a 5-year period, 181 people died from injuries sustained in a West Virginia truck accident. In the same timeframe, about 1.4 fatal truck accidents occurred for every 1,000 miles of West Virginia roads, which is above the national median value.
Why a West Virginia Truck Accident Can Be So Deadly
A West Virginia truck accident is more likely to result in fatalities than a standard auto accident because tractor-trailers:
- are harder to control because of their large size;
- weigh much more than passenger cars and therefore can cause more damage; and
- generate more power because of their size and therefore require more time to stop or slow down, particularly at high speeds.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
There are several different types of truck accidents which can cause fatalities. A head-on collision occurs when a tractor-trailer and another vehicle are traveling in opposite directions at the time they crash into each other. NHTSA statistics indicate that head-on collisions represent the most deadly type of West Virginia truck accident.
A jackknife accident takes place when the truck's cab is bent back toward the trailer and the vehicle crashes. These are identified by the "twisted" wreckage of an 18-wheeler when the cab and the trailer are not aligned in the same direction. Jackknife accidents can occur during a turn, or when the truck driver spins the steering wheel too quickly and causes the cab to begin turning without the payload following it.
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