More than 3,600 Americans lose their lives in truck accidents all across the nation every year. That is more than our nation lost during the 9/11 attacks. Imagine a 9/11 occurring every year, and you get the number of annual truck accident deaths in the U.S.
Fact: Each year, more than 475,000 police-reported truck accident occur all across the United States.
While it is an undeniable fact that motor vehicle accidents involving semi-trucks and 18-wheelers are outrageously devastating and catastrophic, many people do not understand why trucking accidents are so prevalent in our nation and why it does not seem as if the number of truck accident deaths in California will go down any time soon.
To answer these question, we invited our San Francisco truck accident attorney from Allegiance Law. So what causes hundreds of thousands of truck crashes in America every year?
Causes of truck accidents in California
- Size. Under similar circumstances and even when traveling at the identical speed, a truck can do much more damages than an ordinary car because of its size.
- Larger blind spots. Due to the trucks’ size, they have much larger blind spots compared to passenger cars, making it nearly impossible for the truck driver to see a large portion of the road.
- Longer acceleration and stopping distance. In the event of another car weaving into your lane in a split second, there is a high chance that you might avoid a collision if you were blessed with good reaction times, but only as long as you are driving a passenger car. If you are driving a truck, on the other hand, making a sudden stop to avoid a collision is nearly impossible, as trucks have longer stopping distances compared to passenger cars. The same goes for longer acceleration distances in trucks, which can also pose a serious threat on the road.
- What’s in the cargo? As you may have read in the news, when trucks are carrying hazardous materials and crash into other vehicles, the consequences are beyond catastrophic. Our experienced truck accident attorney in San Francisco explains that it is not uncommon for trucks to be hauling such explosive materials as gasoline, nuclear waste, corrosive agents, and many more.
- Overworking, fatigue, and drowsiness. While there are plenty of overworked motorists driving ordinary cars on the roads of San Francisco and elsewhere in California, being on the road alongside an overworked truck driver is far more dangerous. Often, this happens because the truck driver’s trucking company sets unrealistic deadlines, prompting drivers to sacrifice sleep and stay on the road for longer hours. Lack of sleep causes sleepiness, drowsiness, and fatigue, all of which lead to slower reaction times, impaired decision-making abilities, and clouded thinking.
- Extremely high speed. You have probably seen trucks traveling at a speedway above the allowable speed limit numerous times. That is because, as we have mentioned earlier, truck drivers are eager to get to their destination faster to finish the job and get paid.
- Tailgating. Failure to maintain a safe distance between vehicles is not only a cause of ordinary car accidents, as it also causes many truck accidents in California. Following other vehicles too closely can result in horrible consequences, as a truck rear-ending a passenger car often leads to fatalities in the passenger car.
- Defective trucks. Many trucks in California have old and worn-out brake systems or are otherwise defective and faulty. Even the tiniest defect in a truck, when not adequately maintained and inspected, can cause a truck accident. If a truck is defective due to a manufacturing or design defect, you may be able to hold the truck’s manufacturer liable for your injuries and damages.
- Failure to yield the right of way. “This is a major problem with trucks when they are entering a roadway or making a turn on a highway,” explains our San Francisco truck accident attorney at Allegiance Law.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Some drivers resort to drugs and alcohol to keep them awake when hauling cargo at night, but this actually increases the risk of a truck accident.
- Falling asleep at the wheel. As we have mentioned above, it is not uncommon for truck drivers in California to be sleepy and drowsy when operating their large vehicle. In addition to reducing the driver’s reaction times and impairing his/her rational thinking, it also increases the risk of the driver falling asleep at the wheel.
- Driving an overloaded truck. When a truck is overloaded with cargo, it becomes unpredictable and nearly impossible to control when performing certain maneuvers on the road. Whoever loaded that truck must be held responsible.
As you can see, there can be numerous causes of truck accidents in California, which is why it is vital to consult with the best truck accident lawyers in California to determine what caused your crash and hold the liable parties responsible for their negligence. Contact Allegiance Law to schedule a free consultation. Call at 415-404-6395 or complete this contact form.
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