Truck accidents (i.e. accidents between a truck and a passenger vehicle) result in serious injuries due to the difference in the weight of the two vehicles. For example, the legal weight of an 18-wheeler in the United States is 80,000 lbs. (i.e. 40 tons). while the average passenger vehicle weighs somewhere around 5,000 lbs.
The injuries can be significant, if not fatal. In fact, studies gathered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, show that in 2005, accidents involving such large trucks resulted in 5,212 fatalities. For these reasons, there are special safety rules and regulations that truck drivers must follow, regardless of whether the driver is an employee of the truck company or an owner-operator.
What are some potential causes of truck accidents?
1. Driving too fast.
The length of time it takes an 18-wheeler to stop is generally about 40% greater than that of a passenger vehicle. This estimate may vary depending on the weight of load the truck is carrying, weather conditions, road conditions and whether or not the truck is bobtailing (i.e. whether the truck is being driven without an attached trailer).
2. Driving too close.
Often times, a truck driver is driving too close to the vehicle in front of him and when that vehicle stops, the truck may not have sufficient distance to stop before striking the vehicle.
3. Driver Fatigue.
Pursuant to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, truck drivers must keep logs, showing their hours of operation (driving) and their off-duty hours. These strict guidelines, created to reduce driver fatigue or to keep them to a minimum, must be adhered to by truck drivers. When a driver fails to adhere to these rules, fatigue may set in, making him a dangerous driver.
4. Driver Error.
Because of the height of his truck, a truck driver may fail to see a passenger vehicle in his blind spot or see a pedestrian crossing the street. As a result, the truck may strike another vehicle or the pedestrian.
5. Driver Distraction.
A truck driver can get distracted by using a cell phone, by conversing with his passenger or by being preoccupied with the radio. These distractions can make him a danger on the road, resulting in a truck accident.
6. Load Shift.
If a truck load is not tied down properly, it can shift during transport. If that happens, the weight of the load can cause the driver to lose control of his truck, resulting in a truck accident.
7. Driver Aggression.
Truck drivers are on strict time schedules, especially when they are delivering perishable goods. If a driver is running late, he tends to become more aggressive, placing others at risk.
What Are The Legal Rights of Truck Accident Victims?
The Mason Law Firm Truck Accident Attorneys is managed by Personal Injury Attorney Mason Rashtian. Before opening his own practice, Mason Rashtian was an insurance defense attorney. In that capacity, Mason defended truck drivers involved in catastrophic accidents, including cases involving fatalities, T-bone collisions, side-swipe collisions, and rear-end collisions. Additionally, he handled cases with less serious injuries such as rotator cuff tears, herniated discs, whiplash and back pain. Needless to say, he has seen it all.
Mason has litigated truck accident cases all throughout California, including, but not limited to, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Palm Springs/Indio area.
If you have been involved in an accident with a truck, semi-tractor trailer or an 18-wheeler, it is important to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney, such as Mason Rashtian. We will provide you with an honest and complete assessment.
There is never a fee unless there is recovery in the case.
For a free consultation on your injury case, please contact us at one of our five locations:
433 North Camden Drive, Suite 600, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
3500 West Olive Avenue, 3rd Floor, Burbank, CA 91505
San Fernando Valley
15303 Ventura Blvd., 9th Floor, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
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