Articles Tagged with California Truck Accident Lawyers

Determining Why Big Rig Tire Problems Occur and Who May Be Responsible

One of the more common sights on our highways is the long, twisted strip of mangled rubber left over after a tractor-trailer big rig has lost one of its tires to a blowout or other truck tire problems. Continue reading ›

Cell Phones and 40-Ton Vehicles Combine for a Serious Danger from Distracted Truck Drivers

Most states in the United States have some form of law related to the use of cell phones for calls and texting while operating motor vehicles. The state of Washington was the first to initiate a texting ban with a law passed in 2007. Continue reading ›

Oversize and Overweight Vehicles Must Follow Numerous Specific Rules for Safety

Truck size limitations in the United States are generally specified in federal regulations, especially for trucks operating in the “federal system,” e.g., on interstate highways. Additional or separate limitations may be put in place by the individual states. Continue reading ›

How the Law, the People, and the Issues Make Truck Accident Lawsuits Different

Most adult Americans have at least some general idea what the process is for resolving car accidents and the insurance claims they produce, either from being on the receiving end of a collision, perhaps from having caused one, or at least observing a family member trying to deal with one. It starts with the accident, the police, a tow truck, body shop repairs, opening — and hopefully successfully closing — property damage claims. Continue reading ›

Experienced Commercial Carriers Make Litigating Truck Accidents a Business

When the drivers of two passenger cars are involved in a traffic accident, it’s almost always going to be an interaction between “amateurs” — the typical private vehicle driver isn’t likely to have the knowledge and experience to face a traffic accident knowing exactly what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. They’ll likely know to exchange identification and insurance information, to snap a few pictures, and to call for help from first responders if there has been significant vehicle damage or injuries involved. Beyond that, most drivers will turn the process over to the folks who “know what to do” — the police officer to prepare a traffic collision report, insurance adjusters to handle property damage claims, perhaps an attorney if there is an injury claim. Commercial carriers like trucking companies and bus companies, however, are different – they will have experienced many, many traffic incidents with their vehicles and staff, and they, their insurers, and their attorneys make investigating and litigating truck accidents a routine business with well-established procedures. A private individual trying to resolve an injury claim from a truck accident will typically be fighting with at least one hand tied behind their back.

How We Sleep and How Driving Practices Produce Tired Big Rig Drivers

The study of sleep — making a science of it, rather than just attempting to treat it without a more complete understanding — is a relatively new thing, and tired truck drivers and other consequences of poor sleep are becoming better understood. Most serious sleep research, however, and looking methodically and scientifically for ways to improve sleep has occurred just within the last few decades. Understanding the “how’s and why’s” of sleep is fundamental to also understanding how environmental factors like job schedules can improve or worsen the amount and quality of sleep. When those external factors produce dangerous results like tired truck drivers, a fuller understanding of how sleep works can be used by regulators and trucking companies to reduce fatigue and the injuries and deaths that can result from it.

A Problem We All Experience is a Serious Danger for Some

Working while tired is a near universal experience, but truck driver fatigue is a serious danger. Who hasn’t shown up for work on a Monday morning a little extra tired from an overly busy weekend — maybe one with a little too much partying? Who hasn’t put in some overtime on an important project that just has to get completed today or to cover for a co-worker who called in sick? But being tired at work isn’t a particular danger for most of us — we might be a little slow at getting that document typed up or yawning a bit while greeting customers, but we’re not at special danger of seriously injuring ourselves or others because we’re a bit too sleepy.

Truck Driver Licensing Covers the Basics

Commercial vehicles are typically large, heavy, and much more difficult to control than passenger vehicles. Some of this is due to the simple physics of operating a 2-ton passenger car as compared to a 40-ton, fully-loaded tractor-trailer — it takes much, much longer to get the bigger vehicle up to speed and correspondingly longer to bring it to a stop. But commercial vehicles are typically much more complicated to maneuver and control, as well. It has long been recognized that these differences result in a much greater need to certify that commercial vehicle drivers have been properly trained and prepared to be on our roadways. Commercial driver licensing, as implemented under federal and state requirements and certification, is the first step in validating the skills of new truck drivers and in monitoring the driving records of experienced drivers. If a truck accident occurs and results in injuries or even death, an experienced personal injury attorney will know to review the status of the commercial driver’s licensing and license record as one important element in determining liability on the part of the truck driver or trucking carrier if problems are found.

Where and How Truck Driver Work Hour Limits Apply

It has long been known that driver fatigue is a major factor in causing motor vehicle accidents, injuries, and fatalities for drivers of all types. It is especially true, however, for commercial vehicle operators — truck drivers and bus drivers — who have strong economic incentives to keep on the road for longer hours than may be safe. Time truly is money for these drivers and for the commercial carrier companies who employ them — a tractor-trailer rig isn’t making money while parked at a truck stop and a passenger bus isn’t earning anything while sitting still at a bus terminal. Rules have therefore been established and periodically updated that limit the “hours of service” for commercial vehicle drivers in order to increase roadway safety. When an accident involving a truck or bus occurs that results in serious injuries or even death, an experienced personal injury attorney will know to focus on whether and how the hours of service limitations applied to the involved driver. This can point directly to evidence establishing liability on the part of drivers and the trucking carrier or bus company that employed them.

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