Most Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents in California
In addition to being a major world economy in its own right, Southern California is also home to the two largest ports in the country that together take in one-fifth of all cargo coming into the United States. A great deal of that cargo is loaded onto semi-trucks and hauled across the state and around the country. While the trucking industry is essential to the local, state and national economies, the huge presence of 18-wheelers in Southern California creates an increased risk of serious accidents between big rigs and the passenger vehicles they share the roads and highways with.
Below we discuss some of the most common causes of semi-truck accidents in California. If you’ve been hurt in a trucking accident in the state, contact Kalfayan Law Firm in San Diego for a free consultation with a team of experienced and successful California truck accident lawyers.
Top Ten Causes of California Trucking Accidents
- Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers often work long hours, trying to meet tight delivery schedules. While there are federal regulations in place to ensure drivers get the rest they need, not all comply. Driver fatigue can lead to slower reaction times, impaired judgment, and ultimately, accidents.
- Distracted Driving: Just like any other motorist, truck drivers can be guilty of distracted driving. Whether it’s texting, taking a call, or fidgeting with the radio, any momentary diversion from the road can result in catastrophic consequences due to the truck’s size.
- Poor Maintenance: It’s crucial for semi-trucks to undergo regular maintenance checks. Brakes, tires, and other vital parts, if not well-maintained, can lead to equipment failure and thus accidents.
- Inadequate Training: Driving a semi-truck requires specialized training. If a driver lacks proper training or fails to follow the best practices, it increases the likelihood of accidents.
- Impaired Driving: Despite strict laws against driving under the influence, there are instances when truck drivers consume drugs or alcohol while on duty, putting everyone on the road at risk.
- Speeding and Reckless Driving: Given the weight and size of semi-trucks, big rigs need a longer distance to come to a complete stop. Speeding or reckless driving often leaves truck drivers with insufficient time to react to road obstacles or sudden traffic changes.
- Unfavorable Weather Conditions: Rain, fog, and other adverse weather conditions can make roads slippery and reduce visibility. It’s imperative for truck drivers to adjust their driving according to the weather to avoid accidents.
- Unsecured Loads: Improperly secured cargo can shift during transit, causing the truck to become unstable. In some cases, cargo can even spill onto the road, posing threats to other motorists.
- Blind Spots: Due to their length and height, semi-trucks have larger blind spots compared to regular vehicles. Other drivers might not be aware of these blind spots, and if a trucker fails to check them before maneuvering, collisions can occur.
- Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, uneven road surfaces, and a lack of clear road signs can all contribute to semi-truck accidents, especially if the driver isn’t familiar with the route.
Get Skilled and Knowledgeable Legal Help After a California Truck Accident
Accidents involving semi-trucks can result in significant injuries or even fatalities. Being aware of these common causes can help drivers of both trucks and passenger vehicles navigate the roads more safely. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, Kalfayan Law Firm stands ready to provide zealous and effective legal assistance. Our dedicated team understands the nuances of truck accident cases and is committed to fighting for the rights of victims in California.
Stay safe, stay informed, and remember, Kalfayan Law Firm is here for you every step of the way. Call 619-232-0331 for a free consultation in Del Mar, San Diego, or throughout Southern California or statewide.