The levels of catastrophic injury and potential mortality is higher for those involved in trucking accidents than typical car wrecks. Tractor-trailers often way more than 30,000 pounds compared to the average 4,000 pounds of a typical passenger vehicle. This difference in sheer size and weight makes for devastating injuries and wreckage when these vehicles collide on California roadways.
The circumstances leading up to these types of crashes can be any number of things, but the results are nevertheless traumatic and life-changing for many injured victims. Below are some of the primary factors that can create a trucking accident.
Common Causes of California Trucking Accidents
While many trucking accidents are often a result of driver error, much like their smaller passenger vehicle counterparts, these mistakes are preventable. Below are some of the top causes of California truck accidents that frequently result in traumatizing injuries that have lifetime impacts on victims.
Whether the radio signal is poor in a rural area or the truck driver is distracted by gauges on the dashboard or notifications on their smartphone, once their eyes leave the road, accidents can happen in a matter of seconds.
Truck drivers face pressure to perform from their employer trying to push them to deliver cargo by a set deadline. This may require driving long distances within a short period, not giving drivers much time for rest. Fatigue is a serious issue in the trucking driving industry, and despite state and federal laws protecting a driver’s right to a break and sleep, many companies will insist they violate those rules to make a delivery on time. When a trucker falls asleep behind the wheel, the resulting accident can devastate not just the lives of the victims but the driver’s life, as well.
Lack of Proper Training and Vehicle Maintenance
Federal and state laws provide industry regulations for training a driver must undergo before they can drive a commercial truck. Still, there are drivers out there who circumvent this process and illegally get on the roadways without proper training or qualifications. Companies that hire these drivers are also liable for any accident they cause as they should have performed verification of any credentials and training their employee submitted. A lack of experience in handling poor road conditions is another factor that can lead to catastrophic pile-ups on slick highways.
Vehicle maintenance is a common problem that leads to numerous trucking accidents every year in California. Maintenance of these commercial vehicles is costly for transportation companies and cutting corners by postponing crucial repairs and routine maintenance can lead to equipment failures on the road. From driving on bald tires to overdue brake replacements, if any of these components fail while traveling at a high rate of speed, other vehicles and passengers on the road could suffer terrible consequences.
Driving Under the Influence
The use of amphetamines and other illicit stimulants to stay awake and keep driving to meet a deadline is a problem in the trucking industry. From impaired reaction times to falling asleep once the drug wears off, the dangers behind the wheel skyrocket when a truck driver is under the influence while operating their tractor-trailer.
With a tight delivery deadline, drivers will sometimes succumb to the pressure and drive faster than appropriate for their load size and/or the speed limit. This can pose a significant danger to other passenger vehicles on the roadway because they may be forced to swerve out of the way or be run off of the road altogether, causing them to collide with barrier walls or other cars.
Illegal Load Size
Federal and state law mandates specific load parameters depending on the type of cargo being hauled. Load limits affect everything from weight and size to height, length, and width. If hauling hazardous cargo, additional regulations are necessary to legally transport on a California road. Failing to adhere to these guidelines could lead to the truck tipping over or dangerous spills on the highway that leads to catastrophic pile-ups.
Recover Compensation for Your California Truck Accident Injuries
If you or a loved one are victims of a trucking accident in the state of California, you deserve to pursue fair and just compensation for the damages and losses you suffered. Negligent commercial truck drivers pose a severe threat to the safety and wellbeing of other drivers on the road and should be held liable for the devastation they cause.
As recognized SuperLawyers in Beverly Hills, Setareh Law has recovered millions of dollars for those injured by negligent truck drivers and is here to do the same for you. Bring your case to us, and we will evaluate the facts of your accident, identify the liable party, and relentlessly pursue the compensation you’re due. Contact us today at 310-659-1826 for a free case evaluation.