A collision between two tractor-trailers in Shenandoah County, Virginia (VA), proves that not even the people in the largest and heaviest vehicles on the interstate are safe from negligent or reckless commercial truck operators. The crash happened on northbound I-81 near the exit to Caverns Road.
Virginia State Police responded to the scene between the towns of Mount Jackson and New Market at around 2:10 pm on March 6, 2018. They found one semi tipped onto its side on the right shoulder and the other big rig in the median, where it had crashed through a guardrail. Investigators determined that the truck driver in the right lane had drifted onto the shoulder in the moment before the crash, overcorrected his steering while attempting to get all his wheels back on the pavement, crossed over the lane line and collided with the big rig in the left lane.
Both men went to hospitals with serious, but unspecified injuries. Later, authorities charged the truck driver who ran out of control with reckless driving.
This wreck provides the latest evidence that all people on interstates are at risk from truck drivers who operate unsafely. During 2017, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles recorded 2,306 crashes involving large commercial trucks. Those collisions resulted in 12 deaths to occupants of the trucks and 291 injuries, 53 of which were categorized as serious.
The other lesson to learn from this crash between two tractor-trailers on I-81 in Shenandoah County is that overcorrecting one’s steering creates dangers for everyone. Whenever a driver notices that his or her vehicle has run partly off the road, remaining calm and responding appropriately will prevent injuries and, possibly, save lives. The safest things to do when one or more tires goes off the road are to ease off the accelerator and gently steer all the way onto the shoulder or median. Gradually braking until coming to a full stop, collecting one’s thoughts, and only reentering the highway with caution are also best practices.
The reckless driving charge against the truck driver who struck his semi gives the injured and innocent truck operator strong grounds for filing personal injury claims. The case may become complicated, however, since neither man lives full time in Virginia, where the collision occurred. Working with an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer who has handled many cases involving commercial trucks that cross state lines will help the crash victim hold the at-fault driver accountable.