What Causes Trucking Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are over four million commercial trucks on U.S. roadways on any given day. As a major agricultural center and a state with a vast coastline, large trucks are an especially common sight on the roads of California. While it is true that truckers are generally involved in fewer collisions than the drivers of passenger vehicles, crashes that involve big rigs come with a high risk of serious injury or death. Since truck accidents can be dangerous, Californians should know more about what tends to cause these crashes and know how to avoid them to ensure their safety on the road.
Truck Accident Statistics
About 60 percent of fatal truck collisions happen along a rural road or highway, with only a small percentage occurring on urban streets. Additionally, most crashes involving large trucks happen during the day, with only around 37 percent taking place during the night. The majority of accident fatalities (about 85 percent) and injuries (about 89 percent) take place from Monday through Friday.
Incidence of Trucking Accident Trauma
Most injury-causing trucking accidents are initially caused by a collision with another vehicle. Data shows that vehicle collisions were the harmful event that started a trucking accident in the majority of cases. Such accidents accounted for 73 percent of fatal trucking crashes as well as 83 percent of injury-related accidents and 73 percent of accidents causing damage to property.
Initial events that were less common included defective truck parts, roadway defects, and more. It is also important to note that work zone accidents accounted for about 30 percent of fatal trucking injuries, but only about nine percent of injury crashes. Additionally, the majority of the accidents in question occurred at speeds of between 50 and 55 miles per hour, the standard rate of speed for trucks on highways.
The weight of a big rig is a factor in accidents. Around 310 feet of space is required for a fully-loaded tractor-trailer to make a complete stop when the vehicle is traveling at highway speeds. This means that if a driver notices an accident or hazard in front of them, it will take them the entire length of a football field to stop and avoid becoming involved in the crash, assuming that the truck’s brakes are in proper working order.
Another issue that can affect truckers is fatigue. Companies sometimes set unrealistic delivery schedules and demand that truckers complete and start jobs with minimal time to rest. This often leaves drivers suffering from fatigue, which can impair their driving abilities much like being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Although truckers do have to follow strict guidelines for how many hours of service they can perform consecutively, some choose to work around these rules because of pressure from their employers.
Investigating Trucking Accidents
A good Fresno truck accident lawyer knows that obtaining proof of fault requires a thorough investigation. To investigate a trucking accident, your lawyer will need to review the events that took place at the accident scene which involves talking with witnesses, measuring marks on the road, and noting road conditions. It’s also essential to review the trucker’s driving logs to determine their cargo weight, loading procedures, hours of service, and whether or not their cargo was secured correctly. Driving logs will also include maintenance schedules and other information. However, an investigation should be started right away and waiting to call an injury lawyer can have a severe impact on your ability to recover for your losses. To learn more about why it is essential to contact an attorney right away, watch the below video.
More by Ed Smith, a Truck Accident Attorney in Fresno:
- Common Carrier Safety in California
- Distracted Driving is a Major Factor in Truck Accidents
- Why Fresno Truck Accidents Happen
Fresno Truck Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Fresno truck accident lawyer. A truck accident can cause severe or fatal injuries for all involved. If you or your family has been affected by a trucking accident, get in touch with me by calling (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400 so I can provide you with free, friendly case advice.
Our firm has helped residents of Fresno claim fair repayment for damages related to wrongful death and personal injury for 37 years. You can see the settlements and trial verdicts I’ve obtained my clients here.
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What Causes Trucking Accidents?: Ed Smith
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