Credible statistics on truck accidents in California reveals a recurrent trend in the incidents. Among the factors that contribute to recurrent truck accidents are diverse. For instance, drivers’, manufacturers’, or the government’s fault.
Since truck accidents pose a serious threat to the parties involved, it is crucial to understand the various accident causes. Upon determining the cause of your accident, you could file a civil lawsuit against the liable parties to seek damages for your injuries and property damages.
Determining the truck accident cause opens up your case to multiple angles for the best case presentation. Therefore, you must work with an attorney who has experience handling truck accident cases. At the Truck Accident Injury Attorney Law Firm, we have competent lawyers who will help you recover damages.
With our skilled attorneys, you receive first-rate legal representation that suits your needs. Additionally, we have worked with many truck accident victims in California to advocate for compensation for truck accident injuries. Therefore, you can depend on us to apply high levels of expertise as we handle your case.
Common Truck Accident Causes
Like other road accidents, road incidents involving trucks arise from different causes that depend on individual circumstances. While some of the accident causes arise from intentional and negligence choices by the liable parties, others are often unforeseen and unavoidable at the point of impact.
Despite the cause of the accident, you have the right to seek compensation for the losses you incurred, including the wrongful death of a loved one. Thus, determining the cause of a truck accident allows your attorney to establish a line of fault. In return, the liable party will be responsible for the damages you and others face, mostly if the causation was from gross negligence. Different causes of truck accidents include:
Driving Under the Influence
Operating any vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal, with a severe misdemeanor and felony charges available for guilty parties. Despite the applicability of statutory provisions under the California Vehicle Code, motorists still violate the laws and put other road users in danger by driving when drunk.
Truck drivers fall under the commercial motorists class, with different laws governing the Blood Alcohol Concentration limit. Under section 23152(d) VC, a commercial driver should not operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or more. Surpassing the set limit often leads to improper vehicle coordination, as the truck driver's cognitive functions are impaired.
Subsequently, the truck driver may have blurred vision, a feeling of imbalance, and improper mind coordination that leads to poor judgment. If you drive close to or opposite the truck while the driver is intoxicated, you could end up as an accident victim, leading to irreversible damage.
DUIDs also add to the different causes of car accidents, as a truck driver will be under the influence of mind-altering drugs that impair proper driving judgment. For example, if the truck driver uses amphetamine to remain alert while on transit, he/she can cause severe collisions based on poor mind-body coordination.
Usually, accidents arising from drug and alcohol intake are more severe because of the intoxicated driver’s unforeseen danger. In these situations, a truck driver may ram directly into another vehicle despite acknowledging its position on the road because of the cognitive impairment.
Distractions while on the road are common, mainly because your attention has to move to different factors at different points. Nevertheless, allowing your mind to wander off even for seconds may be detrimental to your safety, despite your confidence in driving.
A truck driver who causes accidents from various distractions will be liable for any damages you suffer after the accidents. Thus, you need to understand the common causes of distractions on the road to establish fault.
A truck driver may face several factors that diminish the road’s focus, depending on the vehicle’s activities. The first type of distractions affects the driver's cognitive function, meaning that his/her mind is disengaged from the road and any possible obstacles that may arise.
For example, suppose the truck driver is trying to remember specific information like Personal Identification Numbers. In that case, his/her alertness can quickly shift from the road as the mind works to figure out the missing data. Additionally, if the person receives distressing news while on the road, his/her mind begins to process different information simultaneously, leading to interrupted attention spans on the road.
Subsequently, any oncoming motorists may have to steer clear of danger, as the truck driver does not recognize the poor driving skills in play.
The second type of distraction involves vision obstruction by taking the eyes off the road. Commonly, cell phones are the leading cause of vision distractions for many motorists, including truck drivers. When a notification alert goes off on the phone, the driver may have the urge to check the screen, meaning that he/she will have the eyes off the road, even if just for a few seconds.
Reports from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration indicate that a driver only needs to take his/her eyes off the road for two seconds to create a potentially dangerous situation. As a result, when a driver gives in to distractions like the phone, radio, or checking the map while driving, you could end up as an accident victim. The situation becomes worse where you are unable to evade danger, especially on narrow roads.
Lastly, a driver also faces hands-on distractions by having to take the hands off the steering wheel. For example, when a truck driver eats when driving, he/she will have to hold the food using one hand to avoid greasing the wheel. Although most motorists can control the vehicle with one hand, trucks are massive vehicles that require extra caution and firm steering.
Hence, a truck driver cannot afford to drive recklessly, as a slight turn on the steering wheel is enough to change the direction of the entire vehicle. Supposing you were driving behind the truck as it suddenly changed movement, you could face a side sweep or rear-end collision with catastrophic outcomes.
Other Road User Mistakes
Sometimes, the truck driver may be alert and following all necessary traffic requirements like observing the speed limit and sticking to the designated lane. However, drivers can rarely predict sudden accidents, especially if they arise from other road users’ careless movements.
Consequently, you may become the victim of a multiple car crash accident that begins with a motorist getting in the way of the truck driver. As the truck moves away from the driver at fault, the driver may steer towards your direction, bringing you directly into the line of impact.
A practical example of multiple car crashes commonly occurs in intersections whereby a motorist violates traffic lights and proceeds into the intersection without checking for other vehicles from different directions. If a truck had the right of way, the driver would try to avert danger. However, the reaction time is limited in some cases, causing multiple car crashes because of the large truck size.
Other times, a pedestrian may cross the road without checking for oncoming vehicles. Thus, if a truck approaches the pedestrian, the driver will have to apply sudden brakes, creating unexpected circumstances. If you were driving behind the vehicle, your reaction time would be limited, and chances of hitting or getting hit by the truck are high.
Motorcycle riders also get involved in numerous truck accidents, mostly as they overtake the trucks on highways. If you are a motorcyclist involved in this situation, the collision’s cause is the blind spot obstructing the truck driver from seeing you as you approach the vehicle. If the truck is about to change lanes, the body may hit you because of the blindspot oversight.
In cases involving a blind spot, the liability depends on the circumstances before you or the truck driver moved the vehicle to change lanes. If you followed all necessary safety precautions before moving, the liability may be on the driver or divided between both parties.
When your body goes for long periods without rest, your concentration span becomes worse, meaning that you could pose safety hazards while on the road. As mentioned, most trucks operate commercially.
As a result, truck drivers must travel along different transit routes every week to complete deliveries. Since transporting products or property on trucks is a full-time job for most employees, they become prone to overworking and fatigue.
Symptoms of extreme fatigue vary depending on health conditions and the hours of work. However, some commonly experienced signs include drowsiness. The truck driver is unable to remain awake. Driving when tired can be catastrophic, as the motorist may lose control and veer completely off the road.
Alternatively, the truck may move into your lane where you and other unsuspecting motorists may have little time to avert the danger. The incident may, therefore, cause severe personal injuries for involved accident victims.
Back and leg pains may also arise from fatigue, prompting the driver to change sitting positions frequently. Most motorists are familiar with moving their legs or back positions to find a comfortable spot.
Nevertheless, the movement poses a potential risk where the truck uses manual transmission to change gears. If the truck driver accidentally presses or releases the clutch, the truck may stall or backtrack, putting all motorists close to it in danger of collision.
Lastly, fatigue on the mind is quite similar to being under the influence, primarily because the cognitive function is diminished. When a truck driver is tired, he/she will have a slow reaction time. The factor is significant, as it could cause accidents that would otherwise be avoidable by quick reaction time.
While fatigue is a significant cause of truck accidents, commercial guidelines direct drivers to adhere to strict schedules that provide working limits. This way, the rate of truck accidents arising from fatigue are controllable if drivers take the necessary time off.
Improper Road Maintenance
Road conditions also play a significant role in determining the prevalence of accidents. Naturally, a poorly maintained road exposes motorists to additional safety risks compared to smoother roads.
Local authorities are responsible for upholding proper road standards to protect motorists from road inconveniences. However, not all road sections have all the safety requirements, meaning that truck accidents commonly occur.
For example, if a road section has vital road signs missing, a truck driver may proceed without knowledge of impending danger. Missing road signs are dangerous in two-way roads on sloped terrain, as they could fail to warn you of sections where trucks are prone to brake failure.
Consequently, you could face an oncoming truck headed in your direction with little room for navigation. The impact may not be as severe as in other instances, as you will have detected the danger. Despite this, you also risk colliding into other cars as you avoid crashing onto the truck.
Additionally, if the maintenance authority fails to remove obstacles and debris on the road, you may get involved in an unforeseen truck accident. Obstacles like large rocks, residue from previous accidents, and misplaced road cones are enough to warrant a truck driver to steer in a different direction suddenly.
The unpredictable movement is dangerous for you, primarily if you had closely followed the vehicle on a two-way road. Thus, it is always advisable to maintain a reasonable distance in case of emergencies. In doing so, you can reduce the impact you face in case of an accident.
Poor Truck Loading Strategies
If you faced a truck accident where cargo fell off the vehicle, the accident’s primary cause would be low loading and locking of the truck. Commercial transport companies are often more focused on making high-profit margins by transporting more goods for fewer trips.
Therefore, truck loaders may overload the vehicle, creating little space for proper and safe arrangement. The poor planning and placement strategies expose you to severe risks that often occur on inclining terrain. When gravity overpowers the load, the truck door may break open and release the compressed items.
Doubtless, you will be on the receiving end as objects fall on your vehicle. The truck doors may also hit your bonnet and windscreen, leaving sharp and harmful debris inside your car.
These types of accidents also give rise to concurrent collisions as you try to evade the impact. For example, if you were on a multiple lane highway, you may make a sudden lane change that catches another driver off guard. Subsequently, the accident worsens and includes other casualties from the improper loading of the truck.
Using Excessive Speed
Speeding has claimed the lives of many motorists, with new cases reported every day. Excessive speed can cause a driver’s fatal consequences, especially if the impact is extreme on the accident victim.
Speeding reduces a driver's control over the vehicle because of the increased velocity, often challenging to reduce. Instances involving trucks driven at high speeds are detrimental to most of the parties involved in a crash. Also, the magnitude of the impact is significantly more because of the large truck volume.
When you or a loved one is a party to a speeding truck accident, there are few chances of survival from impact. In less severe incidents, an accident victim may survive, but with permanent injuries that limit mobility and independence as you may have experienced in the past.
Alternatively, reckless driving that includes speeding and overtaking at wrong sections can result in irreversible damage for you and other passengers. For example, if a reckless truck driver caused a T-bone accident, the side impact will be overwhelming on your vehicle and to your body. The damage is colossal and can result in death on the spot.
If you evade fatalities, your truck accident attorney will be instrumental in providing evidence against the at-fault driver to help you recover damages. Providing proof that the truck driver had surpassed the speed limit in restricted areas is beneficial, as it imposes full liability on him/her.
Substandard Truck Maintenance
The maintenance routine available for a commercial truck is pivotal to its efficiency and safety of use. Poorly maintained vehicles are prone to sudden stalls and breakdowns that can occur in risky areas, including inclined slopes.
The consequences of a poorly maintained truck vary based on the problematic conditions and the location where the stalling occurs. For example, if the truck exhibits brake failure on a hilly route, the truck driver may have little control over the truck’s subsequent backtracking.
Additionally, if the brakes fluid is insufficient such that he/she cannot stop the truck to avoid hitting oncoming vehicles, you may be a victim to a gruesome head-on collision. The casualties in these types of accidents involve severe personal injuries that affect you and your loved ones' life for good.
For example, if a passenger sustains traumatic brain injuries, he/she may remain in the vegetative state for a long time. The medical condition renders the patient incapable of performing most body functions without a life support machine. Severe cases may put the family in a difficult situation, where you will have to decide whether to pull the plug if the patient does not show improvement.
Low truck maintenance also includes failing to check the tire pressure regularly to avoid sudden tire burst accidents. When the situation arises, the driver will lose control of the truck. Eventually, he/she may cause a rollover accident or even T-bone collisions because the vehicle is unstable.
Sometimes, you may be lucky enough to be safely away from the truck when the tire burst happens. However, most trucks’ size leaves little room to avoid impact, meaning that you will likely sustain damages.
Actions You Can Take After a Truck Accident
If you are a truck accident victim, the collision may come as a shock, with catastrophic outcomes. Therefore, it is necessary to remember the essential things to do after involvement in a truck accident. Following the guidelines places you in a good position for future reference as you prepare to file for compensation.
After the accident, the primary objective should be to obtain medical assistance, as most incidents involve dangerous collisions. Thus, we recommend going in for a medical examination despite feeling physically fine. The recommendation applied when the impact was not too high, leaving you capable of seeking emergency medical services by yourself.
When you take responsibility for your health, the defendant cannot later use the situation against you to claim negligence or complacency on your part. Also, some medical conditions after an accident are not apparent until you undertake a proper medical examination. Hence, to avoid future complications, we recommend visiting a health facility immediately after the crash.
Further, it is always advisable to contact your truck accident injury lawyer as soon as possible to pave the way for immediate legal assistance. For example, calling your lawyer as soon as the accident occurs allows him/her to arrive at the accident scene and down important information vital during the trial stage.
Find a Truck Accident Injury Lawyer Near Me
Upon involvement in a truck accident, you or your loved ones may incur significant life-altering damages that last for a lifetime. Therefore, you must understand the possible causes of the incident to determine the parties to hold liable. Since the information you receive on truck accident causes varies based on different circumstances, speaking to a truck accident lawyer is also necessary, as he/she provides further guidance on how to handle your case.
Consulting with the Truck Accident Injury Attorney Law Firm puts you in an excellent position to begin the civil suit process. With the help of our skilled attorneys serving in California, you can understand how the truck accident’s cause and nature affect your compensatory case. Additionally, our lawyers are happy to represent you during the court trial to fight for the best-case outcome. To get in touch, call us today at 888-511-3139.
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