There are accidents that are happening almost every day, but one of the more catastrophic types of accidents is when a large truck is involved. Fatalities resulting from truck accidents did not change that much since 2017, as there are about 5,000 Americans that get killed because of truck accidents, and about 10,000 or more suffer injuries. Thus, it is advisable that a truck accident lawyer in Beverly Hills should be part of your contact numbers by now, especially if you are on the road most of the time. These large trucks have been our way of transporting food, fuel, and essential goods to every part of the country.
A truck that this fully loaded can weigh as heavy as 80,000 pounds, around 40 tons. On the other hand, a car usually weighs around 3,000 up to 4,000 pounds. Furthermore, these trucks do not have the ability to halt as fast as cars can, that is why trucks have a higher tendency to hit cars at higher speed and with an even greater impact which leaves the car occupant to suffer devastating and worse fatal injuries.
Furthermore, cars are sitting a lot lower to the ground as compared to trucks which are why cars can easily slide when it gets into a semi crash, and these are even just as catastrophic even when running in slower speeds. This leads to the car occupants ending up crushed, trapped, or worse decapitated. And those who manage to survive to end up suffering from head or neck injuries.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Beverly Hills
One of the common causes is driver error that contributes mostly to most of the fatal crashes that involve large trucks
In the year 2017, it was cited that at least half of the passenger vehicle drivers get involved in a fatal truck accident. And about one-third of this devastating occurrence is due to truck driver errors, as cited in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This is the same agency that oversees safety practices for truck drivers and other types of commercial motor carriers.
Here are some of the typical driver errors that cause fatal accidents:
- Truck driver is speeding
- Truck driver is distracted or inattentive
- Truck driver was not able to yield a right of way
- Truck driver is impaired due to fatigue, alcohol, or illness among others
- Truck driver is careless
Almost 5% of these large trucks end up getting involved in fatal crashes and the reason is that they are having some vehicle-related problems like brake problems, or issues with the tires.
The truck driver is overwhelmed due to fatigue
It is undeniable that fatigue is one of the serious problems that have been constantly encountered in the trucking industry. So, because truck drivers are often working long hours, this results in their deprivation of sleep. Most of these truck drivers are only taking short naps when the truth is they are really in need of extended sleep just to restore the optimum functioning levels of their bodies and minds.
The hours of service being made by the truck drivers
In order for these truck drivers to fight fatigue and make sure that their tired drivers are not on the road, the federal government sees to it that the hours-of-services regulations will form part of the requirements of certain commercial drivers in order to determine when and for how long a truck driver can drive.
This regulation is put in place in order to serve as a limit to these truck drivers who are driving 11 hours in a 14-hour period, and that they must be able to take a 30-minute rest break after every 8 hours of driving, and when the truck driver already reached an 11-hour drive, they should be off-duty for 10 hours. The same regulation also restricts drivers from being on duty for more than 60 hours for a week or for more than 70 hours in eight straight days. Thus, once the truck drivers have already reached these limits, they are required to take at least 34 hours off duty before they go back to work.
What these rules practically guarantee is to let the drivers get the right amount of rest in order for them to stay alert when they are on the road, thus, hopefully resulting in safer roads. Yet, there are still some trucking industries that are just making things worse.
The truck driver is not paying enough attention to the road
This has always been a serious problem with truck drivers. A study made by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration revealed that distraction has been one of the main reasons for the occurrence of 71% of commercial vehicle collisions and 46% of near-crashes.
There are drivers who are using their phones while driving as studies revealed that about 23 times more are likely to get involved in a critical safety event.
Some other dangerous driving distractions are interacting with the dispatching device, writing something down while driving, using a calculator while driving, looking at a map while driving, dialing a cellphone while driving, and many other things that take the driver’s attention off the road.
This distracted driving resulted in one of the tragic crashes that occurred last March 2019 wherein an Indiana semi driver diverted his eyes away from the road because he was about to retrieve a sandwich that he dropped, and by the time he got his focus back to the road, the traffic that was in front of him slowed down, so he was not able to push the brakes on time and thereafter slammed into the back of another semi. Thus, resulting in the death of his passenger who was riding in the sleeper berth of the truck.
Thus, because there are tendencies of road accidents because of negligent truck drivers, you be able to put the proper protection in place, and when you are unfortunately caught in a truck accident, you should see to it that you call your truck accident lawyer in Beverly Hills especially when processing your insurance claims.