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Otus Law Group

Are Truck Accidents Different from Other Crashes?

Truck accidents can present a catastrophic and long-reaching impact dually on pedestrians and occupants of smaller vehicles. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it is vital that you work with an experienced truck accident lawyer


Truck Driving by Lake

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), millions of commercial trucks (roughly 4.3 % of all highway vehicles) move goods over the national transportation network each year. This high number of commercial vehicles presents an issue for motorists who must share congested highways with said trucks. With commercial trucks and big rigs weighing from 8,000 to 80,000 pounds it’s easy to comprehend how truck accidents can be so devastating. In the best-case scenario, it is only the car that is completely destroyed. In the worst cases, there is loss of life and other permanent injuries. The effects of a truck collision are long reaching, with families shouldering physical, psychological, and monetary burdens post-accident.

Roadways in California are among the most congested in the nation, and subsequently the most dangerous state in the nation in terms of truck accident injuries and fatalities given the high volume of freight movement.

Commercial truck drivers are required to have special training and follow safety regulations to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Unfortunately, trucking companies often pressure their drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines, which leads to truckers operating on very little sleep or taking drugs to stay awake – two of the most common causes of truck accidents. Equipment failure is another common problem. While trucking companies are required to maintain their vehicles, many of them cut corners, putting public safety at risk. The first step we take in any commercial truck accident case is to determine the cause of the accident so we can hold the responsible party liable for damages.

A driver is only as good as the truck they drive. A mechanical breakdown could quickly result in a catastrophic accident. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Fatal Causation Study found that in 55 percent of truck accidents involving injury, the truck had at least one mechanical failure. The same study also discovered that 30 percent of trucks had at least one out-of-service equipment issue. Common types of equipment failures noted in this study include:

  • Faulty or poorly maintained brakes

  • Improperly inflated or worn tires

  • Defective or missing safety equipment such as underride rails

  • Improperly functioning or defective lights including turn signals

  • Overall poor maintenance

  • Unbalanced cargo

  • Transmission failure

  • Part manufacturing defects

Recognizing that equipment failure causes accidents, the FMSCA requires every truck driver and company to perform a pre-trip inspection as well as regular inspections and maintenance of their trucks throughout the year.

Otus Law Group California

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