Every year, approximately 4,000 people are killed in auto and truck collisions, and thousands more are injured as a result of these accidents. The injury and fatality toll in these accidents is typically high, because of the massive weight of the truck, tractor trailer or semi rig involved in the collision.
As noted in a recent CHP report on traffic safety, the number of people being killed in auto and truck collisions in California has remained more or less stable, with slight fluctuations every year. This is in spite of the fact that that there have been reductions in traffic fatalities involving motor vehicles.
The main reason for this is that any accident involving an automobile and a truck can have a devastating impact. A typical tractor-trailer, for example, can weigh an approximate 80,000 pounds, and can pack devastating power. When a vehicle of this size and bulk crashes into a much smaller passenger vehicle or SUV, the results for the occupants of the smaller vehicle can be catastrophic.
Causes of Auto and Truck Collisions
The federal administration has been especially concerned about the rising number of accidents involving fatigued and sleepy truck drivers. The trucking industry has pushed for an increase in the maximum working hours for truck drivers in order to boost efficiency, but trucking safety advocates have been strongly opposed to any such proposals, because of the increased risk from drivers working long hours without rest.
Any kind of malfunctioning in the components of the truck like the brake, the steering, or other components can cause a truck driver to lose control of the truck, causing an accident.
This is one of the biggest causes of truck and auto collisions in the United States. Much of the responsibility for prevention of driver errors lies with trucking companies that have a responsibility to hire qualified, trained, experienced truckers. Unfortunately, truckers are in huge demand these days, with demand far outstripping supply, and as a result, many companies have hired drivers who may not have a qualified record. These drivers are at a higher risk of accidents.
Driving Under The Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Drug use is a huge problem in the trucking industry, with many truck drivers frequently taking methamphetamines to stay alert and awake for long periods of time. When the effect of the drug wears off, the driver may suddenly feel drowsy, increasing his accident risk.
The California truck accident lawyers at the Appel Law Firm LLP represent persons who have been injured in tractor-trailer, commercial truck and semi rig accidents across California.