The trucks we share our roads with are immense and can cause severe damage — even in relatively minor truck accidents. The size differential is too significant to allow the occupants of the much smaller vehicles involved in truck accidents to escape serious injuries and accompanying losses.
If a truck driver’s negligence leaves you injured in a truck accident, it is in your best interest to reach out and consult with an experienced Long Beach truck accident lawyer at One Law Group right away.
The Risks of Truck Accidents in Long Beach
Truck drivers and their passengers have the protection of the semi-truck itself to protect them from the impact of an accident. This fact plays a significant role in truck accident statistics. The National Safety Council (NSC) shares that most truck accident fatalities (71 percent, to be exact) are the occupants of the other vehicles involved.
In other words, you — as the other motorist involved — are far more vulnerable to the life-threatening effects of truck accidents:
- In 2020, 4,965 people lost their lives in truck accidents, up 31 percent over 2011.
- Only 17 percent of truck accident fatalities are the occupants of the trucks themselves.
- In 2020, there were 107,000 injury-causing truck accidents.
- Since 2016, fatal truck crashes have risen by 5 percent.
Truck Driver Negligence
While everyone who drives owes everyone else on the road a considerable duty of care – or has a responsibility for protecting their safety – this is even more true for professional drivers.
Because truck drivers are professional drivers, they are held to far more careful rules and regulations that include requirements related to hours of service. In this context, negligence on the part of truck drivers is even more difficult to comprehend, but truck driver negligence continues to be the primary cause of truck accidents.
Truck driver negligence can take any of the forms it takes in other drivers:
The law – at both the state and the federal level – has no tolerance for commercial drivers impaired by either alcohol or drugs, including a wide range of prescription medications.
While the alcohol limit for the rest of us is .08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC), California draws the line at .04 percent BAC for commercial truck drives. Alcohol can lead to all the following impairments:
Any of these impairments make maneuvering a massive 18-wheeler through traffic exceptionally dangerous.
The fact that one’s impulse control and judgment are also affected makes impairment behind the wheel of a semi a life-threatening choice.
As mentioned, there are hours of service restrictions imposed on truck drivers, and the impetus behind these rules is the immense danger associated with drowsy driving. Truck drivers often have long hauls and can be pushed to the limits in terms of remaining alert and awake.
Truckers — and trucking companies — who refuse to take hours of service limitations seriously put everyone on our roads in jeopardy. Exhaustion can lead to many of the same forms of impairment that alcohol does, which highlights its inherent danger.
Speeding is dangerous all the way around, but when an 80,000-pound big rig has too much speed behind it, the danger rises exponentially. When a truck driver chooses to exceed the posted speed limit or to exceed a safe speed in relation to the road’s condition, they increase the risk that they will not be able to slow down or stop in time to avoid an accident, with often deadly consequences.
Distracted truck driving
Truck drivers are on the job, and part of that job is giving distractions the cold shoulder. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls texting the most alarming distraction. When a person texts behind the wheel, they can travel the length of a football field in the 5 seconds it takes on average to shoot someone a text (when traveling at highway speeds), and when that driver is a truck driver, the danger is impossible to ignore. It is safe to say that it is even more alarming when the driver in question is manning a tractor-trailer.
Establishing Liability for Truck Accidents in Long Beach
While truck accidents are often caused by negligence on the truck driver’s part, this does not mean that liability ends with them. Trucking companies employ truck drivers and, as a result, assume responsibility when truckers are performing within the scope of their work (such as when they are on the road). Your truck accident claim will likely be filed with the trucking company’s insurance provider.
Other matters related to liability in truck accident claims can include:
- The truck or parts manufacturer can be held responsible for accidents in which a faulty rig or faulty part contributes to or causes a truck accident.
- The trucking company can be held accountable for pushing its truckers to overperform (or to cheat the hours of service requirements).
- The trucking or repair company can be held responsible for failing to properly maintain a rig.
- The trucking company can be held responsible for failing to implement or require the necessary safety and maintenance checks.
Call an Experienced Long Beach Truck Accident Lawyer Today
The capable Long Beach truck accident lawyers at One Law Group have the experience, keen legal insight, and drive to skillfully advocate for your claim’s most advantageous outcome.
Your case and your recovery are important, so please do not delay reaching out and contacting or calling us at 310-923-9420 today.