Commercial trucks present unique dangers, require vigilance by all drivers
Although the number of deaths on American roadways has steadily declined since the 1980s, more than 32,000 people still lose their lives each year to vehicle accidents. Dangers lurk any time drivers get behind the wheel, but accidents involving commercial trucks present a special set of problems that can worsen damage and result in more loss of life.
Why are commercial truck accidents so dangerous?
Big rigs, large delivery vehicles and other commercial trucks create unique threats to smaller passenger vehicles, FindLaw.com notes. Drivers of commercial trucks must be even more vigilant than typical passenger vehicles in regard to hazards, since their large and unwieldy vehicles take longer to stop.
Other drivers on the roadways bear responsibility for safety around commercial trucks as well and must be aware of the higher stopping distances, needed turning ratios and other potential dangers posed. Even small driving errors that might not normally cause problems can end in tragedy when committed near a big rig. Failing to signal, speeding or tailgating, especially at high speeds, becomes hazardous when sharing the road with 18-wheelers.
Commercial trucks’ unique risks
A truck accident attorney can relay examples of catastrophic wrecks involving commercial trucks. These vehicles, fully loaded, can weigh over 25 times more than a typical passenger car. With such a big difference in weight between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle, accidents often cause serious or fatal injuries. Los Angeles trucking law attorneys get involved in such cases.
Drivers of commercial trucks typically exercise more caution than other drivers, the U.S. Department of Transportation notes. Still, wrecks involving large trucks in 2006 caused nearly 5,000 deaths and 106,000 injuries. Accidents involving large commercial trucks often involve unanticipated hazards on the roads or careless actions by other drivers.
Additionally, freight in commercial trucks can make accidents even worse, a truck lawyer will tell you. Flammable materials or other hazardous substances can cause serious, additional injuries in any collision.
Accidents caused by commercial truck drivers
Despite research showing that commercial truck drivers typically are more careful than other drivers, at times they are responsible for accidents. Poor training in driving techniques and defensive driving, methods of payment that encourage driving too fast, and demanding schedules can increase the risk of dangerous driving that can cause accidents.
If you need assistance due to a Los Angeles trucking accident, contact the offices of Garcia & Artigliere, or call 800-281-8515.