Common Causes of Los Angeles Truck Accidents
Los Angeles is known for its traffic. The city is home to many freeways, including I-10, I-5, I-405, I-105, I-210 and U.S. Route 101. These highways are often packed with 18-wheelers hauling goods from Point A to Point B.
With so many semi trucks on the roadways, accidents involving these large trucks are common. In 2013, 18-wheelers were involved in 338,000 accidents. Of those, 73,000 caused injuries and 3,906 resulted in death. California has become the top state for semi truck accidents.
There are many factors that can lead to truck accidents. Read on to learn more about the causes and see how a Los Angeles truck accident attorney can help you if you are involved in a truck crash.
Drug and Alcohol Use
Both prescription and illegal drugs can cause serious effects to truck drivers. They can affect one’s judgment, slow down their reaction times and make them drowsy and less alert. The same goes for alcohol. Intoxication can affect one’s ability to drive.
Lack of Training
Semi trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. That can be as much as 20 times the weight of a passenger car. Drivers must be in control of a truck so huge, and in order to do so, they need proper training. These trucks are bigger and longer and therefore harder to maneuver. A truck driver with minimal training can cause significant damage to other vehicles on the roadways. This is especially true if the driver is lost or driving on unfamiliar roads.
Distracted driving is common among truck drivers, especially when they drive in remote areas and are bored. Many turn to their smartphones to surf the Internet, call people and send texts and emails. These actions cause the driver to take his or her eyes off the road for several seconds. This is enough to cause a serious accident. Even actions such as eating, reading, using the navigation system and fiddling with the radio are huge distractions that take drivers away from the task of driving and increase the risk of truck accidents.
Per federal regulations, truck drivers are limited to 11 hours of driving per day. However, some companies don’t follow this rule because of the strict deadlines they have. They force the driver to drive hundreds of miles a day and this can be exhausting to even experienced drivers.
While the speed limit is set at 55 mph for semi trucks, many drivers exceed this limit because they are in a hurry and need to meet their deadlines. It is hard for speeding 18-wheelers to slow down in an emergency, so this can lead to rear-end accidents, which can total a passenger car even at low speeds.
Semi trucks need to be maintained regularly. Trucking companies need to have documentation of maintenance performed. Trucks can experience tire blowouts and faulty brakes due to a lack of maintenance, and this can make the company liable in a crash.
Regulations are in place to limit the amount of cargo a semi truck can carry. That’s because too much cargo on a truck can cause accidents. Too much weight can cause the truck’s tires to blow out or the truck itself to jackknife. In addition, too much cargo can cause it to fall off onto a nearby vehicle, causing serious injuries or even death.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 28 percent of truck drivers have some form of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes people to stop breathing multiple times throughout the night. Those with sleep apnea are often awakened during the night due to their lack of breathing. This affects their performance during the day. Truck drivers with sleep apnea may fall asleep or at the very least become less alert while driving. Those with moderate to severe forms of sleep apnea are not allowed to work as a commercial truck driver unless they are being treated for their condition.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney in L.A.
Truck accident cases are very complicated. They can cause serious injuries and multiple parties can be held liable for them. Don’t handle a case like this on your own.
If you were injured in a truck accident, make sure you protect your legal rights. The truck accident lawyers at Fisher & Talwar will help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact our legal team at (213) 891-0777 to schedule a one-on-one meeting with an attorney who can explain your legal options.