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Everyone who has made the short drive south from Greenup County to Boyd County to get on Interstate 64 knows that the most dangerous vehicles on that fast-moving highway are tractor-trailers. Because the enormous commercial vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, they are difficult to maneuver and stop quickly and safely.

We read of a recent 18-wheeler crash that made plain that when truck drivers make mistakes on interstates, many people can suffer terrible harm.

According to news reports, three people were killed in a violent tractor-trailer crash on a Virginia interstate. Law enforcement officials said a 52-year-old trucker was driving north on Interstate 81 when his big rig went off the left side of the highway.

The Volvo 18-wheeler barreled through the median and reentered the roadway in the southbound lanes, where it crashed head-on into a passenger car and pick-up truck. An SUV then crashed into the pick-up and the Volvo’s trailer then struck another tractor-trailer as well.

A 33-year-old man driving the passenger car, and the 41-year-old pick-up driver were both pronounced dead at the scene of the horrific crash, as was the trucker at the wheel of the Volvo.

Law enforcement officials have not stated why the trucker’s rig veered into oncoming traffic. Though we don’t yet have the answer to that question, we do know that in many similar tractor-trailer crashes at least one of several factors are involved, including:

  • Fatigue: drowsy driving is the number one safety concern in the trucking industry and is a factor in nearly 40 percent of all big rig crashes. Far too often truckers are under pressure to deliver loads as quickly as possible – pressure that can result in drivers falling asleep at the wheel of the biggest vehicles rolling on our roads.
  • Distractions: an increasingly common cause of 18-wheeler crashes (and other motor vehicle wrecks, too). Drivers are focused on electronic devices rather than the traffic and road ahead.
  • Impairment: drunk or drugged drivers are always dangerous, but never more so than when they’re behind the wheel of a large commercial vehicle.

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a truck accident, contact a Russell attorney experienced in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.