Thousands of trucks, including tractor-trailers, flatbed trucks, bobtail trucks, and other commerical trucks, travel on Californias roads each year. Unfortunately, many accidents involving large trucks occur, and many of those include fatalities. In 2010, its estimated that 5,000 people were killed on American roads due to crashes with semi-trucks or tractor-trailers, which represented an increase over 2009. As more large trucks hit the roads each year, the numbers probably wont decrease any time soon.
Large commercial trucks are far more likely to be involved in a fatal vehicle collision than passenger cars, partly because of their large size in comparison to other vehicles on the road. Almost 14 people are injured or killed in tractor-trailer accidents every day in the U.S. Surprisingly, the majority of large truck accidents occur in rural areas during the daytime, and on weekdays. Most also occur on dry roads in good weather.
Avoiding Accidents with Large Trucks
In order to avoid an accident with a tractor trailer or another large truck, driving defensively is key. Pay special attention to large trucks. Dont drive next to a truck for any longer than necessary. Keep a safe distance when passing a truck.
Pulling off the side of an interstate or major highway can be especially dangerous as far as large trucks are concerned. A driver may be suffering from fatigue or be distracted. If you must leave the road, get as far as possible from moving traffic.
One of the most important things to remember when driving around large trucks is that cutting in front of them can be deadly. Trucks take a much longer time to slow or come to a stop than smaller passenger vehicles. If you need to pass a truck, dont move into the trucks lane until you can see the front of the truck in your rear view mirror to ensure there is ample space.
Another special precaution to take when driving around large trucks is to watch for the trucks blind spots. Large trucks have blind spots around the front, back and sides of the truck. Try to avoid driving in those areas if possible. If you cannot see the truck driver in the trucks mirror, the truck driver cant see you.
Trucks make wide right turns, which can be dangerous to cars if they get stuck between the truck and the curb try to avoid this if possible. In addition, trucks sometimes need to swing wide to the left in order to make a right turn. This makes it hard for the truck drivers to see cars that are directly behind them or beside them. Make sure to avoid cutting between a truck and the curb, and always pay attention to a trucks turn signals.
Besides taking precautions to avoid being hit by a large truck, its important not to strike one with your car. When most people think of accidents with tractor trailers, they think of a tractor trailer hitting a car, which can be devastating to a smaller vehicle. However, accidentally hitting a tractor trailer can be just as deadly. Hitting a tractor trailer can be the equivalent of hitting a brick wall, since most tractor trailers weigh between 12,000 and 80,000 pounds, or 25 times the weight of an average passenger vehicle. In many cases, if your car strikes the back end of a tractor-trailer, your car will submarine beneath the trailer, ripping the top off of your car and causing catastrophic injuries or death.
Many accidents involving tractor-trailers or other commercial trucks occur because of fatigued drivers. By law, truck drivers are limited to a maximum of 11 hours of driving between 10 consecutive hours off duty. They also cannot drive more than 60 hours in seven consecutive days. These regulations are intended to prevent tractor trailer accidents caused by tired drivers. However, some trucking companies or drivers who are looking to drive more in order to make more money bypass these rules. If a company or driver is involved in an accident because of fatigue or another form of negligent driving, an injured party can hold that company or driver responsible.
California Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a California accident involving a commercial truck, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries from the trucking company. Compensation for medical expenses, vehicle damage, lost wages and pain and suffering may be available. Contact Don Sjaarda, California tractor-trailer accident attorney at 714-963-8216 for a free consultation on your case.
If you have the need for a Personal Injury Attorney that specializes in Vehicle Accidents cases call the Law Offices of Donald S. Sjaarda at 714-963-8216 for prompt attention to your case.
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