Commercial trucks are essential to stock the shelves at your favorite stores, deliver vehicles to dealerships, ensure the gas pumps are filled, and so much more. People in Los Angeles rely on the commercial trucking industry more than we might ever realize. Semi-trucks and other tractor-trailers are regularly on our city’s roads and freeways.
However—given their size and weight—commercial trucks do represent a potential risk to other vehicles on the road. With so much traffic, accidents between trucks and passenger vehicles are all but inevitable. A collision with a large truck can result in devastating injuries compared to crashes between two smaller vehicles. It is important to understand the common causes of truck crashes so that all drivers can avoid these dangerous collisions whenever possible. In the event you are involved in a collision with a semi-truck, do not wait to contact an experienced Los Angeles truck accident lawyer for assistance.
What are the causes of most Los Angeles truck accidents?
Here are some of the common reasons that there are so many truck accidents happening in Los Angeles:
There is no doubt that traffic in LA can be miserable. With congestion during many parts of the day, truck drivers regularly get caught in traffic jams, and it can throw off their delivery schedules. Like any other driver on the road, commercial drivers can become impatient and engage in aggressive driving behaviors. These might include tailgating, cutting off other drivers, failing to yield on purpose, honking or gesturing, and more.
With the slow-moving traffic, it is no surprise that truck drivers can become bored behind the wheel. They might look for things to entertain themselves, such as texting with family, browsing social media, or even watching videos and movies on their electronic devices. All of this can cause significant distraction, and distracted drivers can easily crash into other vehicles when they are not paying attention to road conditions and the movement of other vehicles.
Commercial drivers are on the road for long shifts, day-after-day. Like any other job, this can become tiring, and drivers can easily become fatigued. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) set strict limits for commercial drivers, capping their shifts at 11 hours per day. There are mandatory rest breaks during shifts, as well as a maximum number of days that drivers can work in a row before they must take time off.
Despite these regulations, fatigued drivers are still a risk, especially since not all drivers abide by FMCSA rules. To make matters worse, many drivers have sleep disorders and other conditions that can increase the risks of fatigue and falling asleep at the wheel.
It is unlawful and dangerous for any driver to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is especially risky for commercial drivers to do so since their vehicles are larger and capable of causing widespread damage in the event of a crash. Commercial drivers have a lower legal limit for alcohol than other drivers. Unfortunately, some drivers choose to use drugs or alcohol before or even during a driving shift. This can make it particularly difficult to maneuver in a high-traffic metropolitan area like Los Angeles.
Commercial drivers not only have to abide by posted speed limits, but they also are expected to avoid “driving too fast for conditions.” This applies to traffic conditions in LA, which are unlike many other areas throughout the country. Drivers might not be used to the congestion and they might not control their speed accordingly, preventing them from stopping in time if traffic screeches to a halt.
Exceeding Weight Limits
The FMCSA sets maximum weight limits for semi-trucks depending on the size of the truck, the number of axles, and more. The most any commercial vehicle can weigh—fully loaded—is 80,000 pounds. If a truck is overloaded, which is common, it can be too difficult to stop the truck shortly. In addition, the tires can blowout, brakes can fail, and more. These are all particularly terrifying events in any circumstance, but especially on congested Los Angeles freeways and roads.
Commercial trucks can have defective parts just like any other motor vehicle. In addition, some trucking companies might not put proper truck maintenance and inspections at the top of their priority list. When a commercial truck malfunctions in LA traffic, it can crash into numerous vehicles and cause injuries to many people.
Consult with an experienced Los Angeles truck accident lawyer today
Many truck accidents are the fault of the truck driver, the truck company, the truck manufacturer, or other third parties. When you suffer injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve full compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other losses. Truck accident claims can be complicated, however, so you should always have the assistance of a Los Angeles truck accident attorney who has the resources to protect your rights. Call (213) 568-4000 or contact us online to speak with the experienced attorneys at Blair & Ramirez LLP today.