What can car drivers do to decrease truck accidents?
Statistics show that of the 8.9 million people in America who are employed in “truck related jobs” approximately 3.5 million of them are truck drivers. And those truck drivers are “logging over 288 billion miles a year.”
That would explain why these big rigs are ever present on U.S. highways and shed light on why California truck accidents are so common.
According to a 2009 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) report, the 286,000 crashes nationwide involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks cause 74,000 injuries. Closer to home, California was ranked “the second most dangerous state to drive in with 2,715 fatal traffic accidents” in 2010 of which 235 involved commercial trucks.
Because big rigs typically weigh as much is 30 times more than a car, truck accidents involving passenger cars often result in catastrophic injuries or death to the car’s occupants. Those injured due to someone else’s negligence may pursue a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages for their medical costs, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
When someone dies in an accident, close relatives may be suffering emotionally as well as financially. The closest surviving family members victims who die as a result of the accident may be entitled to sue for wrongful death to attempt to recover pre-death medical expenses and funeral expenses of the victim, as well as lost financial support, lost companionship, and more depending on the particular facts of each case.
Because of the devastation a trucking accident often leaves behind, the trucking industry is heavily regulated by special safety laws designed to minimize accidents. There are special licenses, vehicle inspections, and restrictions on how long and far drivers can drive without breaks to rest. Human error, fatigue or falling asleep at the wheel, distracted driving, disability due to a physical impairment (like seizures or heart attacks), bad decision-making and miscalculations are some of the reasons truck drivers cause accidents.
But keeping the highways safe is not only the responsibility of the truck drivers.
Car and motorcycle drivers can help reduce trucking accidents by doing the following:
- avoid a truck’s blind spot
- be wary of a trucker’s slow response time and avoid abruptly changing lanes
- don’t tailgate especially when going uphill
- maintain your own vehicle to avoid mechanical failures while driving
- avoid driving while fatigued or distracted, impaired or intoxicated.
If you’ve been the victim of the trucking accident or any accident that wasn’t your fault, the personal injury lawyers at J&Y Law Firm in Los Angeles can help maximize the compensation to which you’re entitled. Call us today at 888-806-6722 for a free consultation. With 21 offices throughout the state, compassionate and aggressive legal representation is close by.