Truck accidents are a serious problem in America. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, fatal crashes involving trucks numbered 4,889 in the year 2017, an increase of 9 percent over the previous year. What’s more, the number of crash-related injuries also rose, from 112,000 in 2016 to 116,000 in 2017. California truck accident lawyers note that accidents and fatalities are on the rise in their state as well, and the reasons range from causes you’d probably expect to a few that you wouldn’t.
Let’s start with an obvious crash factor — speeding. Information from the California Office of Traffic Safety shows that while speeding-related fatalities dropped in 2018, they still numbered close to 1,000 deaths. Speeding increases the amount of time a vehicle needs to stop, in addition to reducing a driver’s available time to react, making it a dangerous activity on the road. What’s more, it increases the severity of injuries in the event that a trucker is in a collision.
Beyond speeding, there are a number of negligent activities that fall under the category of truck driver error. These behaviors include a failure to properly adjust driving behavior to accommodate certain road conditions, and reckless driving that can put other motorists at risk.
Blind Spot Crashes
This one isn’t always the result of truck drivers not paying attention, but it often is. Trucks have substantial blind spots, and it’s up to the driver to check them before changing lanes. Failure to do so has led to many an accident on California’s roads, a product of inexperienced drivers.
Trucks also have a high center of gravity, which makes them prone to rolling over in catastrophic fashion. When it happens on the highway the results are quite disastrous, though, drivers can mitigate the chance of rollovers by properly balancing their loads and watching how they drive.
Unbalanced loads don’t just result in rollovers, they can also contribute to the dangerous jackknife-style accident. In case you were unaware, these are when the truck cab starts to angle away from the cargo container. Either the cab or the cargo hold can tip in these instances, resulting in a serious accident.
There are times where machines don’t work quite the way they are supposed to, and it’s often a result of poor maintenance. Such is the case with trucks on the road, which can break down and crash because they have not been cared for in the manner they should.