Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents may be less common than passenger vehicle accidents, but when they do happen, they are significantly more dangerous. When a large truck collides with a passenger car, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are much more likely to suffer serious injury or worse. Truck accidents can be the fault of a negligent truck driver, a cost-cutting freight company, a defective auto parts manufacturer, or poor drivers of other vehicles, depending on what caused the crash. Read on below for a discussion of the most common causes of truck accidents in California. If you’ve been hurt or your loved one has been killed in a Southern California truck accident, call a zealous Calabasas large truck accident attorney for advice and assistance.
How do Truck Accidents Happen?
Large truck crashes can happen for any number of reasons. Often, several factors combine to create especially dangerous conditions. Different parties may be at fault and liable depending upon the specific circumstances that led to the crash. Some of the more common causes of truck accidents include the following:
Driver fatigue. One of the leading causes of large truck accidents is driver fatigue. Truckers spend dozens of hours behind the wheel in a given workweek, and it can be exhausting. Truck drivers are supposed to limit their hours between rest breaks in accordance with federal hours of service regulations but, unfortunately, many drivers skirt these rules (often with the implicit or explicit encouragement of their employers in order to increase productivity).
Intoxicated driving. Driving a long-haul truck is long, punishing, and often tedious work. Unfortunately, many truck drivers turn to alcohol or other stimulants to keep themselves alert or even to keep themselves entertained through the long hours. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly raises the risk of a serious accident, especially when a large truck is involved.
Distracted driving. Truck drivers are liable to text, email, and browse social media just like all other drivers. Because they spend so much more time on the road, they are that much more prone to distractions to alleviate boredom and otherwise stay entertained. Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents across all types of vehicles.
Poor maintenance. Large trucks require regular maintenance due to their sustained, lengthy use. Drivers and freight companies that fail to regularly inspect and conduct maintenance on their trucks put other motorists at risk of a critical failure, whether to the engine, the brakes, the tires, or the truck bed and cargo-security measures.
Defective equipment and poor safety gear. In addition to a failure to maintain the trucks, trucks may simply be equipped with defective or outdated equipment. Failure to update the trucks with modern safety equipment is a problem caused by the freight company; if the truck parts are defective as distributed, however, then the truck or part manufacturer may be to blame.
Unbalanced loads and overloaded beds. Trucks hauling heavy equipment and materials must load their truck beds appropriately. If a load is unbalanced, or if the truck is carrying more weight than it’s equipped to handle, it’s likely that the load may become unsecured and fly into traffic, or that the truck itself will rollover. In either situation, other vehicles on the road will face the serious risk of an accident.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a large truck collision in Southern California, call a dedicated and compassionate truck accident attorney at the Halpern Law Firm. We fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. Contact us at (818) 785-5999 today. These cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t be charged any attorney’s fees unless we win.