For those drivers who stay focused on driving while on California roads, seeing a large truck in the lane ahead is definitely something to monitor. Smart drivers either work to pass that truck or stay well behind them just to be sure there’s no chance of a collision.
Then there are those frightening big rig accidents that almost no one sees coming. The driver of an 18-wheeler or a box truck in oncoming traffic suddenly loses control and within seconds a massive vehicle is crossing medians and yellow lines and heading straight for you.
A head-on collision with a heavy truck or transport may be the most devastating sort of crash there is. Drivers rarely have the time or space to get out of the way. These devastating accidents can lead to severe injuries for the victims involved and in the worst cases, they can result in the loss of life.
Dangerous Head-On Truck Crash Dangers in California
Head-on collisions are so destructive because they combine the speeds of both vehicles to multiply the force of impact. When you factor in a semi pulling a fully loaded tractor-trailer, you also have to figure in effects of the extra 80-thousand pounds the big rig may be hauling.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that in 2019, 2,757 people in passenger cars lost their lives in collisions with heavy trucks across the nation. Nearly, a third of those deaths involved a head-on collision with a truck. Head-on collisions were the biggest contributor to fatal truck accidents for the year.
Truck drivers can lose control of their vehicles for a number of reasons. These are just a few of the most common mistakes that lead to head-on crashes:
- Trucks and Excessive Speed: It’s easy to see why trucks would need a longer distance to slow to a complete stop. Factoring in a full load can make that braking time even longer. We’ve all been on highways where a double-tractor trailer is the fastest vehicle on the road. It’s a scary sight, especially when considering that when a large truck is traveling the speed limit it can need the distance of two football fields to stop.
- Exhausted or Sleeping Big Rig Drivers: Truck drivers are subject to strict laws about how long they can continuously drive. By federal law, they can only drive for 11 hours at a time, but trucking employees can break these rules to make better time and earn more money. They make this decision while risking the lives of everyone on their side of the road and in the opposite lanes.
- DUI Truck Drivers: Truck drivers are under strict guidelines when it comes to consuming alcohol or taking drugs and getting behind the wheel. The cases are rare, but truck drivers can still make a fateful choice to drink and get in the driver’s seat of a big rig. They can be on the wrong side of the road without the awareness to know how much danger they’ve created.
- Distracted Truck Drivers: Truck drivers have cellphones like everyone else, and they can be texting or checking sports scores instead of watching the road. Many drivers can even watch movies as they travel along. It’s a recipe for disaster when a small mistake becomes a dangerous error and puts them in the opposite lanes of traffic.
- Mechanical Issues: Tires blowouts and brake failure send thousands of trucks out of control each year. Imbalanced loads inside tractor-trailers can affect tire life and even tip a trailer over onto another vehicle.
Seeking Out Help from Insurance Companies After a Big Rig Accident
Seeking compensation for an injury after a collision with a large truck can be different than a normal collision with a car or SUV. A truck accident can involve more than one insurance agency and even corporate lawyers in some cases.
The big rig driver will carry a personal car insurance policy. This may be the only insurance in play, but if that driver works for a local company or farm, those businesses may also be called upon to contribute insurance coverage.
That local company could also be contracting out its workers to a national trucking chain or manufacturer. In some cases, those corporations would share in the liability for your accident. A truck maker can also face responsibility if a defect in design or a part failure contributes to a crash.
These cases can quickly ramp up in complexity, but a local personal injury lawyer will have experience with these cases. Through investigation and research, your lawyer can determine every party who should be providing support to you as you heal.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer Serving California
After a truck accident involving a serious injury or the tragic loss of life, contact an experienced California Truck Accident Attorney such as Martin Gasparian. Talk over your case in a free consultation that comes at no obligation to you.
Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case and works tirelessly to make sure victims and their families have absolutely everything they need to begin to rebuild their lives.