Unsafe speed is one of the most common causes of dangerous and deadly road accidents. When the driver of a passenger car or truck chooses to speed, they are putting the lives of everyone in their path at risk. When a commercial truck driver drives at an unsafe speed, the results can be even more catastrophic.
Speed limits are set on various roads and highways for a purpose. It is to create the safest circumstances possible based on the particular conditions and risks present on a certain roadway. Driving faster than the posted speed limit may not only make it difficult to slow down for hazards, but it may also mean that your vehicle is hard to control under various conditions.
Speed and the Condition of West Virginia’s Roads
West Virginia has 38,766 miles of public highway, much of which is rural two-lane roadways. The terrain of the state is mountainous, with small shoulder areas, which creates a unique hazard for drivers. There were 144 speed-related fatalities in West Virginia in 2012, and that figure dropped to 130 in 2013.
In West Virginia, the maximum speed is 70 mph on some rural interstates, but the law specifies that no person may drive a vehicle faster than is reasonable and prudent for the existing conditions and hazards. This means that inclement weather, low light conditions, or road hazards require that drivers reduce their speed to use extra caution while on the road.
When Commercial Trucks Decide to Speed
Many drivers speed on the road, but the results of a speed-related commercial truck accident can be life-altering. These are massive tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers that are more difficult to control than a passenger vehicle. When speeding, it takes even longer for a commercial truck to stop or turn if there is sudden traffic or obstacles in their path. Often, these maneuvers at an unsafe speed are the cause of rollovers, jackknife accidents, and even runaway truck situations in mountainous regions.
Truck drivers often speed because, to them, time is money. These drivers have strict delivery schedules and each moment on the road takes profit away from their bottom line. Truck drivers are under intense pressure from their employers and clients to meet deadlines, which they can only do if they cut corners and speed on the road. Despite the safeguards put in place that require certain hours of rest, this is a constant issue in the commercial trucking industry.
How Serious is Speeding in West Virginia?
Nearly every U.S. state now has an issue with commercial truck accidents because of the growth of interstate commerce. While essential for our economy, the increased presence of large trucks on the road produces a greater risk to everyday drivers and their passengers. Since West Virginia is largely rural, there is also the issue of lack of emergency resources when these tragedies do occur. Within the entire state, there are just 35 acute-care hospitals, only two of which are classified as Level I trauma centers.
If you are involved in a commercial truck accident in West Virginia, you may have to wait longer for rescue personnel to reach your location simply because of the makeup of our landscape. These accidents can be terrifying and leave victims with significant damages. Not only will your car likely be totaled, but you will also need medical care for your injuries, may lose time from work, and may suffer from permanent impairment as well as pain and suffering.
How an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been involved in a commercial truck accident in West Virginia due to the careless acts of another party, you have the right to file a claim for damages. Recovering full and fair compensation in a truck accident is not a simple matter and requires the expertise of an attorney who understands how to handle these complex legal issues.
Large truck accident cases are different from car accident claims because the laws regulating the trucking industry vary and the parties that could be held responsible for your damages are numerous. A commercial trucker involved in a West Virginia accident may not be from the area, and their company could take swift measures to either suppress evidence or try to quickly settle a case for much less than it is worth.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a tractor-trailer accident, hiring a West Virginia truck accident lawyer should be your top priority. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will investigate your case, protect your rights to recovery, and do everything possible to ensure that you are fully compensated for your losses. Contact the law offices of Bailey, Javins, & Carter L.C. now at 800-497-0234 or online to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.