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Fatal accidents and injuries abound on the corridors of I-81

Interstate 81 is a popular but deadly road that carries thousands of commuters and truckers every day. The nature of the road leads to stop-and-go situations, which can be a source of rear-end collisions and even chain reaction accidents. Reports of a four-state agency reveal that there were 6,261 crashes on the Interstate road in the past 10 years, with West Virginia garnering over 50 percent of those. The  state's Department of Transportation reports a total 58 fatal accidents on I-81 from 2015 through 2014.

People living along the road say that they regularly witness fatal crashes, rear-end collisions and  minor fender benders. One of the causes is the high volume of truckers that the road attracts. Many truckers take it as an alternate route around the  I-95 congestion along other urban centers. This tends to create bigger and deadlier crashes, including chain reaction events, according to police authorities.

Police say that drivers should drive slowly enough on I-81to leave enough room to stop suddenly. They also beseech drivers to not pick up their phones, a prime cause of distraction leading to vehicle crashes. One police official states that a text message or phone call just cannot be worth somebody's life. Speeding, bad weather and poor road conditions in some areas are also listed as causes.

Police indicate that it is tough on them also to be involved in so many fatal accidents. West Virginia residents or others involved in an accident on I-81 may be able to obtain monetary compensation for injuries suffered. Family members of victims killed in an accident on the road may make wrongful death claims on behalf of deceased loved ones. If the other driver is at fault, or if one is a passenger in an accident involving negligence by any of the drivers, a claim may be made for damages against those at fault. In that event, victims -- or the surviving families of deceased victims -- may collect for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and lost earning capacity in the event of a permanent disability or death.

Source: your4state.com, "Statistics and Tragedies highlight dangers when driving on Interstate 81", Mallory Sofastaii, Sept. 25, 2015

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