Highway I-81 Truck Accidents in Norfolk
Helping You Obtain the Compensation You Deserve
Virginia’s Interstate 81 sweeps from north to south for 325 miles, skirting the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains on its way down to the dual cities of Bristol, Virginia, and Bristol, Tennessee. This highway provides motorists with diverse and often challenging terrain, taking them from flatlands to rolling hills and mountain vistas.
As scenic as I-81 is, it has also proven dangerous for many travelers as the steep grades and increasingly dense truck traffic make the narrow lanes prone to frequent truck accidents. According to a senior research scientist at the Virginia Transportation Research Council, I-81 is statistically the deadliest of Virginia’s five interstate highways.
If you or a family member has been in a truck accident along this highway, our Norfolk accident attorneys can help. We will work diligently to hold the responsible party liable for your damages.
Truck Traffic on I-81 Continues to Increase
During its heyday in the 1960s, Interstate 81 was built to accommodate a 15% ratio of commercial truck traffic. However, tractor-trailers today take up a full 40% of the highway’s traffic, and congestion from passenger cars is quickly growing, too. In fact, the Federal Highway Administration reports that traffic volume on most segments of I-81 has tripled since 1975 due to long-term economic growth and expansion in industries along the corridor. The deregulation of the trucking industry in 1980 made it even easier for new truck companies to start up and for truckers to receive licenses, effectively quadrupling the number of commercial trucks on the road. I-81 is now one of the top 8 trucking routes in the United States.
Preventing Truck Accidents on I-81
When tractor-trailer accidents do occur on this mountainous interstate, they are often severe. The problem is widely known among state officials, causing the Virginia Department of Transportation to spend tens of millions of dollars adding truck lanes and widening bridges. However, long-term solutions to the traffic volume problem will be expensive. Current estimates range just under $13 billion and could take over a decade to implement. Worse still, recent budget cuts in Virginia have resulted in less overnight parking for fatigued truckers who need to get off the road and get some sleep.
Despite how well-known I-81 is for accident frequency and severity, some truckers still do not exercise the caution necessary to keep the highway safe. Speeding, sleep deprivation, and reckless driving is responsible for a vast majority of the truck accidents that continue to occur on the highway. As we wait for I-81 to be updated and expanded, truckers need to take extra preventative measures to ensure they are not putting other drivers and themselves at risk on the open road.
If you were injured in a truck accident on Interstate 81, please contact our Norfolk accident lawyers. We can help you secure the compensation you deserve to make a full recovery.