Reducing Truck Accidents in California
When it comes to personal injury cases, many plaintiffs are occupants and drivers in passenger vehicles who are hit by trucks or buses. Yet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration thinks that efforts on both sides could reduce the number of accidents that can lead to devastating damage and potential maiming or death.
How Prevalent Are Truck and Bus Crashes?
As noted in other articles, the number of vehicle miles continues to trend upwards as does the population. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data cited in the website, “Our Roads, Our Responsibility”, truck and bus fatalities skyrocketed 15 percent from 2013 to 2014 to some 300 deaths as a result of these larger vehicles. Only Oklahoma comes close to that rate of increase and only Texas had a higher overall number of fatalities.
What is particularly troubling is that truck fatalities seem to be trending upwards again, just as overall vehicle fatalities have in recent years. California is now seeing as many fatalities due to truck wrecks as it did in 2008 after years of steady progress in reducing injuries. The FMCSA says there is at least one solution.
Awareness is Needed to Prevent Wrecks
With legislators already working at the state level to make drastic changes, California bus accidents, at least, could see fewer injuries. Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a bill that would require bus drivers to inform passengers of the safety procedures and what devices they have available to them.
Blind Spots are the Major Issue
That chiefly involves understanding the limitations of bus and truck drivers. Since both types of vehicles are so much larger than cars and SUVs, it takes them longer to stop and it is harder for them to see around them. From the cab, for example, a truck driver cannot see 20 feet directly ahead and 30 feet behind the end of the trailer.
What causes as many truck collisions in California as front and head-on crashes is the lack of understanding about blind spots to either side. When a truck makes a right turn, the driver cannot see in the next lane over from about ten feet ahead of the cab nearly to the end of the trailer. If it is in one of the middle lanes and tries to get into a slow lane, the driver cannot see for nearly the entire length of the vehicle. Buses face similar difficulties.
While truck drivers and bus operators similarly need to be as aware as they can possibly be, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is hopeful that this will reduce the likelihood of truck accidents caused by motorists caught unaware by these limitations.
Vallejo Trucking Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Vallejo trucking accident lawyer. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a trucking accident, please call our injury attorneys at (707) 564-1900 for free and friendly advice. You may also dial toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.
I am a proud member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Founder of AutoAccident.com, the most informative personal injury website in Northern California.
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