California boasts of being home to some of the most populated cities in the US. With so many people needing supplies all year round, semi-trucks are common on California roads.
Unfortunately, having a huge number of trucks on the road increases the chances of getting in a truck accident. In California, most of these accidents happen on I-5, I-10, and I-175.
Truck accidents occur for many reasons, but some causes are relatively more common than others.
When an Accident Happens
There is no guarantee of not getting in truck accidents because even when you are careful, a truck driver may not. In the unfortunate event you get into one, what you do moving forward can significantly impact the outcome of your case.
After an accident, the priority should be on getting medical attention. After that, you can focus on compensation for damages if a truck driver is to blame for your injuries. Due to the severity of truck-related accident injuries, the value of a claim can get relatively high.
Also, truck accidents present unique challenges than car accidents because of the standard of proof required. Therefore, you may need more than your regular car accident attorney to make a strong case. Your best bet will be to work with experienced trucking accident lawyers in California.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Driver fatigue among the most common causes of truck accidents is. Drivers can spend long hours on the road or go for extended periods without rest, making them susceptible to costly errors.
While federal laws limit the hours a driver should be on the road in a day, some trucking companies find ways of going around the rules to beat delivery deadlines. Also, there is no guarantee that a driver will take a rest when they should.
To some, logging out means engaging in something else, for example, drinking, which could mean they will start their next shift while not rested enough.
Distracted driving takes over 3000 lives every year. The most prevalent form of distraction for drivers is the cellphone. Reading and sending texts, emails, or replying to social media chats brings the distraction to a new level.
In a recent study, 89% of Americans admitted to having used their cell phone while on the road. But phones are not the only form of distraction for drivers.
Other activities such as eating, changing channels on the radio, smoking, and picking an item from the floor can also be distractions. Common signs of a distracted truck driver include swerving in and out of the lane and erratic speeding and deceleration.
Poor Truck Maintenance
A fully loaded truck can weigh up to 80,000lbs. With such weight, even the slightest mechanical problem can turn catastrophic. Trucking companies and owners must keep their trucks in good working order whenever they are on the road.
An accident resulting from poor maintenance can constitute gross negligence which can attract criminal charges. Victims of accidents resulting from gross negligence may also be awarded punitive damages.
The most common result of poorly maintained trucks is brake failure which often results in fatalities, especially when a truck is at a relatively high speed or on a sloppy section of the road.
Adverse weather can make controlling any vehicle challenging. Because of the truck’s size and weight, adverse weather effects are much more significant for truck drivers than for standard car drivers.
Every driver must uphold the safety of other road users by driving safely for the prevailing conditions. The most dangerous conditions for truckers include high winds, heavy rainfall, and icy roads.
Avoid following too closely if driving near a truck in bad weather. If you must overtake, ensure you give trucks a wide berth and only do so in an area you feel is most safe.