Any vehicle accident can have devastating and even deadly consequences for all parties involved, but certain types of vehicles pose a greater threat when it comes to collisions. One such vehicle is the semi truck. With its heavyweight and larger size, a semi truck—even when not hauling a trailer—can cause serious damage to persons and property alike when involved in a crash. Although there are plenty of responsible truck drivers out there on the roadways, Los Angeles truck accident attorneys know that some truck drivers may pose a greater risk to other drivers because of negligence on their part. Here are some common factors that may come into play when you are involved in a crash with a heavy truck.
Exceeding the speed limit for semi trucks
Many states have special speed limits on freeways and highways for semi trucks, often around 10 miles per hour below the posted speed limit for smaller vehicles. According to the California DMV, the maximum speed limit for any vehicle towing a trailer or any vehicle with three axles or more is 55 miles per hour. However, some truck drivers under tight deadlines make the choice to drive above that special speed limit in an effort to get their haul to its destination on time. Sadly, this choice can lead to a devastating outcome when the vehicle is involved in a high-speed collision.
Everyone knows about the dangers of drunk driving, but other forms of intoxicated driving are equally hazardous. Some truck drivers opt to use stimulant drugs—whether prescribed or not—to stay awake for long hauls. Any form of intoxication can lead to loss of the alertness and sobriety needed to maintain control of a vehicle, especially a heavyweight vehicle like a semi truck.
Dangerous driving conditions
Driving on wet roads or through thick fog is difficult for anyone, and particularly on California roads where the rare rainy day causes oil slicks on the road to come up to the surface. These already-hazardous conditions can be exacerbated when sharing the road with a truck—for if the semi loses control on a slick, oily road, it can easily jackknife and smash into multiple vehicles and cause serious damages.
Truck driver fatigue
Even the most responsible trucker could fall prey to driver fatigue. Although there are regulations dictating that truckers spend a certain amount of time resting and only a certain amount of time driving each day, not every trucker abides by these rules. A truck driver in a rush to reach his or her destination on time may disregard these rules and keep driving even though he or she is tired. A fatigued driver becomes a dangerous driver, though, and symptoms like blurred vision can be just as deadly as falling asleep behind the wheel when a heavy truck is part of the equation.
Explore your legal options
If you or someone you love has been injured in a collision with a semi truck, contact Compass Law Group, LLP for a free consultation and find out more about what you can do to get the financial compensation you need to cover medical bills or loss of wages. These experienced Los Angeles truck accident attorneys can help you navigate the legal system and get your life back on track following an accident involving a heavy truck.