We’ve all seen the erratic behavior of distracted big rig drivers rolling down a California freeway or busy street. A glance at a cellphone or at the radio leaves them veering out of their lane and then jerking the wheel to correct their mistake.
This dangerous lack of attention can prove a bit more dangerous for the drivers of large trucks and vans. Traveling out of the lane can mean all 80 feet of a tractor-trailer goes with it. A course correction can include a much bigger and more frightening arc for such a large vehicle.
Small distractions in a truck cab can lead to major consequences on California Highways. You may be the driver traveling beside an 18-wheeler or a box truck, or in front of it, when a distracted truck driver rams you. Suddenly you are fighting to recover and wondering how to find help.
Distracted Big Rig Driver Dangers on California Roads
Truck drivers are behind the wheel for longer than most of us can imagine. They’ve found ways to keep their sanity on long trips, but that entertainment can lead to ill-advised distractions for drivers. Truck drivers can be watching or listening to movies. They’ve even been known to read a page-turning thriller, holding a book on the steering wheel as they drive.
Of course, cellphones ensnare the attention of many drivers, and truck drivers are no exception. They can type text and email messages, watch youtube, or play games as their trucks roll down the highway.
Following GPS guidance systems are supposed to help with driver safety, but locating a street in an unfamiliar area might leave drivers squinting to find street signs. They could also try to figure out confusing directions offered by their phones instead of paying attention to where they’re headed.
Drivers can see open road in front of them, and then in their next glance, see the redlights of cars stopped at a traffic light ahead. Big rigs often travel fully loaded and with the extra weight could need the length of over two football fields to come to a complete stop. Any veer across a double-yellow line also takes longer to correct with the full length of a semi-truck in the path of oncoming traffic for far too long.
Who Can Be Held Responsible in a California Big Rig Accident
Injuries suffered in an impact with a large truck can be severe and difficult to heal from. Victims will face the trauma of recovery, while also watching their families struggle with the arriving hospital bills and lost financial support while the victim is out of work.
Innocent victims shouldn’t face the costs of recovery alone. They are permitted to file a claim against the insurance companies of those responsible for their injuries, but figuring out just who should be held accountable can be a frustrating game.
This is a list of people and businesses that could be part of a victim’s insurance claim:
- Truck Driver’s Insurance – The driver could be a one-person operation and carry his or her own commercial truck accident coverage.
- Trucking Company’s Insurance — The driver may work for a small, local company or a giant national corporation. These businesses may have their own corporate lawyers ready to pick your case apart, but your California big rig accident lawyer will fight right back with evidence and testimony. The record of the driver responsible can be called into question. Previous traffic violations may indicate that a company should never have hired the unsafe driver in the first place. These mistakes can force a company to accept liability for your injuries.
- The Farm or Agricultural Company’s Insurance – California is home to many farms and agricultural companies. Their trucks, tractors, and equipment can end up on highways and backroads. Their drivers can become distracted and place you at risk of a collision with machinery made up of sharp corners and blades. Local farm owners and corporate owners can be called upon to provide assistance.
- Truck Manufacturer Or Maintenance Problem – If the accident was caused by a malfunction of a part on the truck or tractor, the vehicle’s maker will share in liability. Truck maintenance records can also be examined to see if regular check-ups were ignored. Tires or brakes may have gone without repairs or replacement. This brings further responsibility for the trucking company required to maintain safe vehicles.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Protecting California Victims
Truck drivers are professionals and most try to do their jobs as safely as possible, but they can become distracted and cause accidents like any other motorist. Sadly, the size, shape, and weight of their big rigs can greatly increase the severity of a crash. Victims can be left in real need of medical support and financial protection.
After suffering a serious injury due to the mistake of a truck driver, contact a California Truck Accident Lawyer such as Martin Gasparian. He offers a free and confidential case consultation for victims and their families. Even if you don’t end up needing the services of Maison Law, please talk to a legal expert so that you are aware of your rights as a victim when you file your insurance claim.