Common Causes of Truck Accidents in California
Commercial and semi-truck drivers drive more miles on California roads every year than most passenger motor vehicles. Although they account for a smaller number of crashes, collisions that do happen involve more serious and catastrophic injuries.
Large commercial or semi trucks cause more damage in an accident because they weigh 20 to 30 times more than the average car. Trucks are also longer and taller, resulting in passenger cars to easily going under the bed of the truck in the event of a crash.
California truck accidents can happen for any number of reasons. If you or a loved one is seriously injured in a crash involving a truck, it is important to immediately seek the help of an experienced California truck accident attorney to help you protect your legal rights and get you the maximum compensation that you deserve.
Why Do Trucks Get Into Accidents?
Truck accidents can happen for all the same reasons as other vehicle crashes. However, there are a few types of truck accidents that are amongst the most common. Below is a list that comprises some of the most common causes of semi truck accidents.
- Driver Error. Truck driver error accounts for most truck crashes. It also includes accidents caused by speeding drivers, drivers who do not check their blind spots before switching lanes, and driver confusion.
- Fatigued Driving. Truck drivers are known for driving long hours to meet their demanding schedules. Although federal law limits the hours they can drive, most truckers continue driving when they are exhausted or should otherwise be taking a break. Long haul truckers often spend days or even weeks in their cab. This can cause them to lose focus while behind the wheel and to ignore safe driving techniques, causing a serious or fatal crash.
- Driving Under the Influence. It is illegal to drive under the influence of any controlled substance in every state. In California, commercial drivers are subject to a higher standard than drivers of other types of vehicles. The level of alcohol in their system needs to be much lower to get a DUI. Under California Vehicle Code 23152(d), California’s “commercial DUI” law, it is illegal to operate a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than .04%. This limit is only applicable to drivers of commercial vehicles. The BAC limit for regular passenger vehicles is .08%.
- Rear-End Truck Crashes. One of the deadliest types of truck collisions in California is a rear-ender. This can happen when a trucker driver negligently or recklessly strikes the rear of a passenger car, often with significant force. Smaller cars do not have the capacity to take this heavy impact and often crumble, leaving the passengers inside seriously injured. Backseat passengers in rear-end truck accidents have a particularly higher risk of a fatal injury.
- Distracted Driving. Not every truck driver is able to focus on the road and nothing else while behind the wheel. With the improvement of modern technology, more drivers carry cell phones, GPS, and other gadgets, which can all be a source of major distraction. Aside from technology, other distractions include eating, conversing with a passenger, or changing the radio station.
- Lack of Adequate Training. The demand of truck drivers is so high that some commercial truck companies fail to adequately train their drivers or check their skills. This can result in dangerous and serious accidents.
- Lack of Proper Maintenance. Trucking companies and owners are legally mandated to keep their vehicles in a safe and proper condition. However, proper maintenance can be costly and time consuming, cutting into profits. Unfortunately, making more profit often means hurting innocent victims in an accident.
In addition to these common causes of truck accidents, below is a list of other factors that account for serious truck accidents in California:
- Blind spot accidents
- Swinging turns
- Tire blowout/bald tires
- Overloaded cargo
- Falling debris
- Inadequate training
- Unrealistic schedules and expectations of trucking companies
Regardless of what caused your truck accident, you should immediately consult with an experienced California truck accident attorney to protect your legal rights.
Possible Parties Responsible in California Truck Accident Cases
In most collisions involving a commercial or semi truck, more than one party is generally liable for the accident. This makes it imperative that you hire an experienced California truck accident lawyer to properly investigate your case to determine who should be held accountable for your injuries and losses. Depending on the specific facts of your case, multiple parties may be liable, including:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Cargo handlers
Contact Us for a Free Consultation!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact the Law Offices of Samer Habbas. Our California truck accident attorneys specialize in handling truck accident cases and have the experience to help you recover your lost wages, medical expenses and any other costs associated with your accident. We will aggressively pursue your claim to ensure that you are rightfully compensated for your injuries.
Please call us at 1-949-873-0755 to discuss your case with an expert truck accident attorney or you can fill out our free consultation form.