A fully loaded semi-trailer might be more than 70 feet long and weigh up to 80,000 pounds. They’re far more difficult than a passenger car to maneuver, and even on dry pavement, they can take at least 20% more roadway to come to a complete stop. A direct impact on a passenger car at highway speed is going to destroy that car and severely injury or kill anybody in it.
Getting the Products on the Shelf
Fruit transporters are working throughout the day and night to get fruits to the market while they’re still fresh and have remaining shelf life. That’s why there is continual pressure to have it loaded, transported and delivered on a timely basis. Fresh produce is always in demand. The longer that the transportation process takes, the greater the chance that it will spoil when it reaches the shelf.
Here are some of the common causes of crashes involved in the transportation of fruits in and around Merced County:
- Distracted driving like talking on a cellphone, texting or using an infotainment center while driving.
- Inadequate maintenance, especially for brakes, steering systems and tires.
- Overloading or improperly loading a trailer so that its center of gravity is affected, especially with liquid container trailers.
- Driver inexperience.
- Drowsy or fatigued driving.
- Drunk or drugged driving, or a combination of the two.
A Recent Fruit and Fish Transportation Accident
A recent example of a Merced County fruit truck accident occurred on southbound Highway 99 near the Winton Parkway exit. A Mitsubishi box truck carrying a load of live exotic fish was stopped on the right shoulder of the roadway when a Freightliner truck pulling a trailer of peaches that was estimated to be 80,000 pounds side-swiped the box truck. A California Highway Patrol spokesman believes that the driver of the Freightliner was momentarily distracted. The side of the trailer that the Freightliner truck was pulling was ripped open, and thousands of the peaches were spilled onto the roadway. The side of the box truck was also ripped open, and thousands of exotic fish jointed the peaches on the road in the hot sun. One person was injured in the crash.
Common Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accident victims who live through a crash often suffer devastating injuries that affect them for life. Here are some examples of those injuries:
- Closed and open traumatic brain injuries affecting memory, cognitive ability and motor skills.
- Traumatic spinal cord injuries resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia.
- Amputations that might be traumatic or medically necessary.
- Severe burns from ruptured fuel tanks.
- Multiple fractures including spinal fractures.
- Damage to internal organs.
Fruit Transporters are Regulated
Unless it’s a half-ton pickup with a load of tomatoes in the back, just about everything that a fruit transportation truck does is regulated by the Code of Federal Regulations and the laws of the State of California. Routine maintenance and repair records, driver logs and electronic data recorder (black box) information are routinely examined during our investigation of a case. Statements are often obtained from occurrence and post-occurrence witnesses, and dash cam or traffic cam video is available, it will be obtained and carefully reviewed.
Merced Personal Injury Attorney:
Truck crashes in Merced County involving the transportation of fruit and other agricultural products aren’t anything new, and they’re nothing that will disappear in the foreseeable future. The insurers the cover truck drivers, their employers and other entities know that large truck accidents can result in significant losses. They have their own investigative teams, so you’ll want to put your own team on the accident as soon as possible. Don’t speak with the opposing insurers when it contacts you. California law doesn’t require you to do that, and you could damage your case if you do so. Contact us instead to arrange for a free consultation after being injured or losing a loved one in any Merced County truck crash.After any accident involving a serious injury, speak to an experienced Merced personal injury lawyer such as Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice and the personalized attention to detail their case deserves.