Common Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents in California
California is the home of some of the most crowded and most often traveled roads in the entire United States. Approximately half a million people use these roadways daily for their commute to and from work. The greater number of drivers that are on the road obviously sets the stage for a much higher likelihood of vehicle accidents. Accidents involving tractor-trailers are much more frequent and far more serious than regular car accidents due to the fact that they produce higher fatality and higher injury rates. Here are some of the most common reasons for tractor trailer accidents:
Dangerous Weather Conditions
Less-than-desirable weather conditions can be difficult for anyone to drive around in, and this is especially true for the drivers of tractor trailers. Snow, rain, and extreme temperatures can all play a role in causing tractor trailer accidents. Due to the fact that tractor-trailers are so heavy, their brakes take significantly more time to be completely applied. This is especially the case when they are driving on icy or wet roadways. Drivers of tractor-trailers need to take care to drive at a slower speed than other cars and trucks around them and be more careful on the roadways when driving around in unfavorable weather conditions.
Speeding and/or Unnecessary Lane Changing
As a driver, you are intimately acquainted with Newton’s Second Law of Motion even though you probably aren’t aware of it. Force = Mass x Acceleration, meaning that the more mass something has and the faster that object is moving, the greater the time that object will need to come to a stop. The excessive weight of a tractor-trailer is what causes it to need a far greater amount of braking distance, even when traveling at slower speeds such as you might find in California’s ever-present, stop and go rush hour traffic.
Tractor-trailer drivers should always be mindful of their speed and drive on the slower side of the posted speed limit. This also applies to truckers when they are attempting to switch lanes. The sudden and unexpected demand to stop can easily turn into a fender bender or even a complete vehicle collision. It is necessary that truckers make an effort to be hyper-aware of the speed at which they are driving and not attempt to pass cars unnecessarily.
A worrying percentage of tractor-trailer operators are up and driving all night long, logging countless hours while hauling freight from one side of the country to the other and back again. This will unavoidably cause drivers to suffer from serious sleep deprivation, resulting in them either falling asleep behind the wheel or being less alert while they are driving. It goes without saying that both of these outcomes of sleep deprivation can easily result in one or more fatalities. It is essential for the driver of any type of motor vehicle to be able to recognize when they have become too fatigued and are no longer able to safely focus on the road. Following that, pulling over to a safe spot and getting some sleep is the only way to truly resolve the situation. Caramel macchiatos and Red Bull can only do so much. This is the safest and most reliable way to ensure that drivers of all types of vehicles arrive at their destination in one piece.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in any type of vehicle, and that accident was the result of someone else’s carelessness or malicious behavior, then you need to contact the Los Angeles Injury Group right away. We can go over the details of your case and help you to determine if you have a case that qualifies you for personal injury damages. If so, you may be entitled to collect compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you would like to discuss your accident in a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, then give us a call at 310-954-7248 today.