Accidents involving large trucks are not like other traffic accidents. There is a much higher likelihood of damage, destruction, injury and even death when a truck such as an 18-wheeler is involved in a crash. For instance, recently, according to CBS LA, a tanker truck on the northbound 5 Freeway jack-knifed and caused a massive backup. 1 person was injured, and all northbound lanes were blocked off. Fortunately, there was no fuel in the tanker, so there was no explosion, and only the one vehicle containing the injured person was hit. However, it’s plain to see by this accident, and the many that have preceded it, that there is the potential for extra danger and damage than with a simple car accident.
While truck drivers are certainly well-trained in driving and safety skills, they are still human. Fatigue, simple error, and negligence can all come into play on the road, with deadly consequences. These drivers and the companies for which they work are under a tremendous amount of stress to deliver their loads on time. Not only that, but the more loads they deliver, the more money they can make. That means that drivers and their bosses can push the limits of what’s acceptable to keep their clients and their pocketbooks happy.
There are strict regulations about how many hours a driver can spend on the road without rest. Sometimes, drivers will go over that limit to get a few extra miles before going to bed, or to meet a deadline. Even if they haven’t been on the road too long, fatigue and drowsiness can play a factor since drivers spend long hours looking at the road.
Not only could the pressure of deadlines cause drivers to spend too much time on the road or to resort to drugs to stay awake, but trucking companies have been known to skirt maintenance regulations as well. That means that there could be trucks on the road that haven’t been properly tested for safety. They could have faulty brakes, tires, or other parts that are essential to keeping that truck running properly.
All of these factors make trucks a dangerous aspect of our roadways. Of course, they’re also an integral part of our economy and way of life, so they can’t simply be taken off the road. Hopefully unscrupulous trucking companies and negligent drivers will eventually be weeded out of the industry, but for now, they’re a fact of life.
If you are injured in an accident with a truck, seek medical attention immediately. Once you are out of immediate danger, the next step should be to contact a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles who can investigate your case thoroughly to determine what the next steps should be to help you get compensation. Your doctor should be able to provide your detailed medical situation, and an estimate for what your recovery will be going forward. If you know of any witnesses that can help your case, make sure that your lawyer can contact them. That way, your lawyer’s team will have all the tools they need to fight for your rights.