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The alarming truth about WV vehicle crashes

As a West Virginia resident, you know that driving on our mountainous roads can be problematic at best. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the rate of fatal vehicle accidents in West Virginia is higher not only than the national average, but also than the rates in all surrounding states other than Kentucky.

Last year alone, 242 motorists died on West Virginia’s turnpike, highways and roads by the end of November. The three primary factors accounting for our high roadway death rate are as follows:

  1. Mountainous terrain
  2. Speeding
  3. Driving while alcohol impaired

Facts about coal and logging truck accidents in West Virginia

West Virginia's economy makes it a unique place for commercial trucking. Trucks that may not be present on roads in many parts of the country, such as coal trucks or logging trucks, can be commonplace in the Mountain State. 

Along with these West Virginia industries come the risks inherent in these particular types of trucks. Accidents involving coal trucks and logging trucks can cause injuries that are much more catastrophic than those from a typical passenger car accident. 

4 actions you should never do after a vehicle accident

In West Virginia, you do not have to report an auto accident to the state's Department of Transport. However, you must report the incident to the police if the collision resulted in injury or death or the crash caused over $500 in damage.

There are many steps you need to take care of in the day following a car accident, such as getting in touch with your insurance agency. In contrast, there are plenty of things you do not want to do. Many people make the following mistakes, and a simple error in judgment could cost you dearly if this incident goes to court

Can a trucker’s lifestyle endanger your life?

As you spend a great deal of time on the roads and highways of West Virginia, you probably notice many trucks going about their business. As long you do not encounter an imminent accident risk, you might not give a second thought to sharing the road with one of these large semis. However, what about the typical truck driver lifestyle? Can a trucker’s daily habits create a dangerous situation that you would not know about until it is too late?

As you may know, truck drivers are often on the road for hours at a time. Truck driver fatigue is an issue that has plagued the trucking industry since the beginning. Despite regulations that restrict the number of hours truckers can be behind the wheel before getting some sleep, drowsy driving accounts for a large portion of truck accidents across the country. There are other factors, however, in the average truck driver’s lifestyle that commonly result in collisions or near misses. These may include the following:

  • Long hours of sitting and the lack of physical activity contributing to a decline in a truck driver’s overall health
  • Poor diet that often includes fast food or convenience store snacks, which may result in obesity, diabetes and heart disease
  • Anxiety and depression brought on by long hours of isolation and stress about getting shipments to their destination on time

Reducing your chances of an accident in winter weather

Like most winters in West Virginia, this has been a tough one. Extreme cold and sudden blizzards have turned our roads and freeways into ice rinks. However, you still need to get to work and run your errands, which means braving not only the cold, but the potentially hazardous roads in your car. The way you drive during adverse weather conditions can make the difference between making it home safely or getting in a serious car accident.

If you have grown up in West Virginia or another northern state, you probably already know that the most important key to driving safely in the wintertime is slowing down. You face numerous hazards on the road this time of year, including the following:

  • Frost, snow, slush, ice and mud making the roads more slippery
  • Snowfall or fog reducing visibility
  • Darkness falling during peak traffic hours
  • Frequent, unexpected backups on freeways due to road conditions or accidents

My car was rear-ended. Now what?

Common wisdom on the road states that if someone hits your car from behind, it is always the other driver's fault. However, when it comes to real-life incidents, many details come into play and this may not always be the case. The laws and circumstances surrounding rear-end collisions can be complex.

Additionally, if you are hurt as a result of a rear-end crash, you may have sustained injuries that require medical attention and perhaps long-term care. When medical bills start to pile up and insurance companies begin to push back about paying claims, the whole situation can feel overwhelming.

Why road salt can be dangerous

Road salt may be your worst enemy in winter because it can lead to the formation and spread of rust. Because this is a hidden danger and not easily visible on vehicles, some people might be less aware of it and less likely to prevent the problem or take care of it ASAP.

It is certainly a real problem, though, whether you are driving on the West Virginia Turnpike or on your residential street. Corroded salt eats away at your car and threatens its safe functioning. It can compromise your car's frame, brake system and exhaust system, to name a few areas of danger. Many of the cars surrounding you on your daily commute could be dealing with the same issue, and accidents are just waiting to happen. To that end, here is a review of top ways in which you can prevent salt from settling into your car this winter.

Tips for driving on the West Virginia Turnpike

West Virginia license plates tout the state as wild and wonderful, and it certainly is, whether you are a local or a tourist. However, driving is one area where you would perhaps prefer to skip the "wild" part. Unfortunately, roads such as the West Virginia Turnpike can be particularly hazardous due to twists and turns, so here is a look at how travelers can stay safe on the turnpike.

Anticipate possible challenges related to the time of year

Top 4 fall road hazards for truckers

Regardless of the time of year, driving a heavy truck is always dangerous. There are many hazards on West Virginia roadways. However, each season has its own special considerations. Being aware of what to expect when the seasons change can enable you to be a better and safer driver. As summer fades into fall, it is time to familiarize yourself with the new risks you can expect on the roads.

The changing weather conditions, the end of Daylight Savings Time and natural changes this time of year, all come together to make fall a difficult time on the roads and increase the risks for truck accidents. Here are four of the most common things you will run across as you are out there on the roads this fall.

Understanding mining truck accidents

Mining trucks and other haul trucks are everywhere in West Virginia. When you are driving along Interstates 79, 77 or 64, you likely share the road with mining vehicles with frequency. While this is a normal occurrence, you should also be aware of the potential dangers of driving near these trucks. Due to the sheer weight, size and unique type of loads of these tractor-trailers, any accident can result in severe consequences. 

It is important to know about the risks of these vehicles so you can stay safe and know what to expect. Keep reading to learn about common causes of mining truck crashes and why they occur. 

Romano & Associates, PLLC
230 Capitol Street
Suite 200
Charleston, WV 25314

Phone: 304-932-4604
Fax: 304-345-7626
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