Due to their size and weight, accidents involving large trucks and commercial vehicles sometimes result in more property damage than other types of motor vehicle collisions. Needless to say, those involved in truck accidents are also more likely to suffer life-threatening injuries or die.
These vehicles are referred to as big rigs, 18-wheelers, and semi-trucks. Although the term semi-truck refers to the truck cab holding the engine, we have learned to refer to semi-trucks and their trailers as semis. These are the most prevalent sort of commercial vehicles on our roads, and they are enormous.
If you suffered injuries in one of these large truck accidents, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, suffering, and much more. Of course, it’s impossible to avoid collisions completely, but drivers should be armed with the knowledge surrounding truck accidents so that they are well-prepared every time they get behind the wheel.
Frequency of California Truck Accidents
Each year, California has one of the highest rates of fatal truck accidents. In fact, Texas is the only state with more deadly truck accidents annually.
Of course, California’s vehicle accident rate is high across the board, largely due to its size and number of major urban centers. Every year in California, almost 200,000 traffic accidents result in injuries. The expected total number of reported and unreported occurrences would climb to more than half a million if every small collision in which no injuries are inflicted were included. What’s more, each year, about 3,000 incidents result in fatalities.
Tragically, the statistics for semi-truck accidents are even grimmer. California has an average of 113 fatal truck accidents each year. Approximately 3,000 truck accidents result in injuries each year, and between 200 and 300 truck drivers are killed.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of California semi-truck collisions occur on major freeways (like I-5, I-10, and I-715), and Los Angeles County has the highest rate of truck accidents in the Golden State.
Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck driver error causes the great majority of accidents. Because the trucking sector is struggling to keep up with demand, this puts truck drivers under great pressure to perform. However, the standards for truck drivers are much more stringent than for other motorists.
The main categories of truck driver error may be classified into four categories: non-performance, recognition, performance, and decision.
First, non-performance refers to the truck driver’s failure to fulfill driving responsibilities satisfactorily. This non-performance may be caused by the truck driver falling asleep at the wheel, being physically impaired, or being incapacitated by a medical condition such as a heart attack or seizure.
Recognition refers to the truck driver’s inability to identify and react appropriately to the current driving condition. This failure may be the result of inattention, distraction by anything within or outside the vehicle, or any other inadequate observation.
Meanwhile, problems with performance often entail over performance, such as panicking at the wheel, overcompensating for a driving mistake, or failing to control the rig’s direction.
Finally, decision refers to the inability of the driver to make sound choices in relation to a certain situation on the road. These choices may include speeding (generally or in response to road conditions), misjudging the speed of other cars, and following too closely.
Other factors associated with commercial truck accidents are:
- Brake failure
- Obstruction in the flow of traffic, such as congestion or a previous accident
- Excessive rate of speed for road conditions
- Unfamiliarity with a given route
- Driver fatigue
- Drivers relying on over-the-counter drugs to combat fatigue
- Failure to monitor or check blind spots
Semi-Truck Accident Data
It is pretty evident that speeding and distracted driving are the two most prevalent causes of truck accidents in California. Excessive speed restricts mobility and affects a driver’s response time in emergencies or rapid traffic changes.
Every traffic collision is risky, but when a commercial truck is involved, the danger is vastly increased by the vehicle’s size and weight. Trucking is dangerous, but the passengers of other cars involved in truck accidents are often the most susceptible to severe damage or death. Consequently, around 34,430 fatal collisions resulted in 37,460 deaths in one recent year alone, and large trucks or buses were involved in nearly 4,080 of these fatal traffic incidents, resulting in over 4,560 deaths nationwide.
Since 2015, these figures have increased by 6% and 5%, respectively. Even worse, roughly 17% of all deaths arising from traffic incidents involving big trucks and buses include occupants of large trucks.
These figures demonstrate that accidents involving commercial trucks are fatal and considerably more likely to kill non-truck drivers.
If you are involved in a collision with a truck, seek medical assistance immediately. Additionally, gather and preserve as much evidence as possible from the crash scene, such as photographs, videos, and other pertinent data.
From there, you must exchange insurance and contact information with the truck driver and any other affected drivers. Contact your insurance provider, but refrain from providing a statement until you have spoken with your attorney. If you have been injured, seek immediate medical treatment and comply with your doctor’s instructions, even if you believe your injuries are minor.
Contact a Beckerman Anderson for Legal Aid
Large trucks weigh tens of thousands of pounds, which, in the case of an accident, often causes significant injuries to those in smaller vehicles. Frequently, these vehicles are operated on behalf of a business, which complicates the legal situation.
Thus, if you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, you should not delay contacting an attorney with experience and skill in these accident cases. Our attorneys here at Beckerman Anderson can assist you in securing the compensation you deserve.
Our Orange County truck accident attorneys may provide crucial counsel on preserving evidence and preparing your case. Automobile accident cases of any kind are by far the most prevalent sort of personal injury cases in our courts today.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer, reach out to our legal team with skill and experience in commercial truck accident cases in order to safeguard your legal interests. When you meet with our team, you may discover that you’re eligible for compensation for medical expenses, property damage or loss, loss of pay or earnings, and much more. Our lawyers may be reached today for a free consultation at 949-409-4299.