Traffic accidents involving a truck are some of the most serious, causing not only catastrophic injury and death but also millions of dollars in property damage. The force of impact from the massive size and weight of a fully loaded commercial truck can be deadly when it is in a collision with a passenger car.
Accidents involving large trucks caused nearly 5,000 fatalities in 2017, and tens of thousands more Americans were injured. Most of the trucks that were in fatal crashes were large tractor-trailers, and more than 70% of those who were killed were car or other vehicle occupants. Although only 4% of the 268 million vehicles on the road are large trucks, they are involved in one in ten highway deaths.
The main causes of truck accidents
Driver error appears to be the main culprit behind most fatal crashes involving large trucks. Truck drivers must have a longer time to slow down, and their rigs tend to jackknife under slippery road conditions or when they are forced to brake suddenly. This makes the danger of a collision higher during adverse weather conditions or in heavy traffic.
In 2017, truck drivers were cited for nearly one third of the fatal crashes involving passenger cars, according to the FMCSA. The primary factors involved in these accidents were:
- Distraction or inattention
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Drowsy or impaired driving
- Reckless driving
Truck drivers must comply with strict federal regulations that mandate the number of consecutive hours a driver may be on the road, how often they may take breaks, and how long they must be off-duty after driving. Unfortunately, drivers often break those rules, resulting in fatigued or otherwise distracted driving.
Filing a negligence claim in California
For drivers in California, when an accident involving a commercial truck has caused injury or loss due to the negligence of the truck driver, it is possible to pursue a claim for damages. As a contributory negligence state however, if the court finds that the injured party was in any way responsible, even by 1%, then they will not be entitled to recover any compensation.
In order to explore the possibilities for compensation or when faced with unresponsive or difficult insurance companies, it is best to contact an experienced legal team serving Redondo Beach that can help you to attain financial justice for your injuries.