Night Truck Accidents, WV, I-79 and I-68
By Attorney Jeffery L. Robinette, Personal Injury and Legal Malpractice Representation
The federal department of transportation guidelines for commercial motor vehicles provide explicit directives and warnings regarding the safe operation of tractor-trailers. An empty tractor-trailer can stop quicker and respond faster to emergencies on the road than a fully loaded one.
Night driving dictates even more safety precautions because a tractor trailer operator can only respond to emergency situations he observes — if his speed exceeds the illuminated area of his headlights, then the driver will not be able to safely respond to an emergency situation until it is too late which may cause a fatal truck accident similar to the many devastating collisions we hear about on I-79 and I-68 near Morgantown.
During daytime driving, the visibility may be a quarter-mile ahead, so a driver can see and anticipate how to respond to an emergency situation in time to avoid a collision. At night, the illumination may only give a driver 200 feet of visibility, but his speed at 70 miles per hour may require every bit of that distance to stop his truck, depending on his load weight and road conditions. If the driver is exceeding the posted speed limit at night, he won’t be able to see problem areas ahead in time to stop safely — hence, his stopping distance will exceed the illumination distance of his headlights.
It is quite obvious which tractor-trailers are loaded on an uphill grade, but on level ground and certainly going downhill, heavily loaded trucks are especially vulnerable to collisions because they have little ability to slow down if there is an emergency situation ahead of them.
While there are many exceptional truck drivers who take great care to keep the public safe, there are others that exceed safe speeds, tailgate passenger vehicles, and fail to keep their trucks mechanically safe for operation.
Wrongful Death Investigations of Fatal Truck Accidents
In investigating fatal truck accident cases, it is imperative to pursue facts that point to truck driver fatigue or other types of negligence. Driver logs must be examined, hotel receipts, GPS devices, black box evidence, dashcam videos, and other sources of evidence that paint a picture of the circumstances leading to the accident.
This thorough approach gives the best possible chance of obtaining favorable results for an injured person or a family after filing a wrongful death claim after a fatal collision.
These big-rig truck accidents are the result of the volatile combination of speed and weight, causing a situation that is too often much more devastating than any other type of vehicle collision.
The most common causes of commercial truck accidents include:
- Driver Fatigue
- Faulty Truck Maintenance
- Drug & Alcohol Abuse
- Trucking Company Negligence
Morgantown WV Injury Lawyers
If you need assistance with an insurance claim regarding a motor vehicle collision, we can help. Call the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney: 304-594-1800 or visit our website to find answers to your questions. You don’t have to handle this alone.
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