Did you know the average commercial truck weighs between 35,000 and 80,000 pounds? The average passenger vehicle only weighs between 1,500 and 4,000. It is no wonder that truck vs passenger vehicle accidents usually end horribly. So, what causes these accidents?
The Law Offices of Esteban L. Valenzuela & Associates want you to be aware of the top factors that can lead to a truck accident. This knowledge will help you stay safe while driving the roads of California.
This is one of the top causes of collisions when it comes to truck accidents. A driver error often occurs when a vehicle operator is careless, makes a mistake, suffers from fatigue or is in a hurry. This can be the result of a trucking company giving a driver a tight schedule. Such unrealistic deadlines can cause drivers to speed and skip required breaks. To avoid these drivers, you need to observe how every truck is driving as you approach. Are they bouncing back and forth in the lane lazily? Are they going faster than they should? If so, avoid driving near that truck.
Trucks are huge, and they drive hundreds of miles daily. This means they need a lot of maintenance to operate safely. Unfortunately, trucking companies are not always diligent when it comes to keeping up with maintenance. This can leave vehicles with bad engine oil, worn-out bearings and tires that are ready to blow. This can be dangerous for all other vehicles on the road. A tire on a truck has enough pressure in it to cause damage to people and other vehicles by simply blowing out. Though signs of poor maintenance can be harder to spot while on the road, keep an eye out for trucks with vibrating or smoking wheels.
Though truck drivers are supposed to check their loads, and the balance of said loads, every time they get on the road, sometimes they do not. This can leave the truck vulnerable to tipping or jackknifing. Keep an eye out for truck trailers that are swaying from side to side.
In poor weather conditions, trucks should be moving slower than the posted speed limit. Some safety organizations even recommend that trucks in rainstorms reduce their speed by one-third while trucks in snowstorms should reduce their speed by half. Fog, dust, darkness and even bright sunlight can affect visibility, which may require further slowdowns. If you see a truck going faster than it should be going, please make way, and never try to get in front of these vehicles.
Brake problems are the number one cause of deadly truck accidents according to the 2007 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study. This is likely due to a combination of maintenance issues and wear. As mentioned earlier, trucks log hundreds of miles of road travel every day, and that can cause serious equipment issues. The signs of brake problems in big trucks are:
- loud grinding sounds as the truck is stopping,
- smoke coming from the wheels of the truck,
- light coming off the wheels of the truck,
- sparking near the wheels.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Remember, if you are in an accident with one of these huge vehicles, you are not alone. A caring truck accident attorney from Law Offices of Esteban L. Valenzuela & Associates is ready to help you take on the truck companies for the compensation that you deserve. Our experience in this area of the law will help you gather the evidence you need for the case. We will also take the burden of the lawsuit off your plate while you and your family recover from your injuries. Call (805) 608-3743 or fill out our online contact form today.