Big Rigs Are Dangerous Road Mates
Truck Accident Injury Lawyer Serving San Jose, Fremont and Palo Alto Areas
Sharing the road with big rigs can be a dangerous proposition. Large 18-wheeler trucks often weigh between 60,000-80,000 pounds, whereas most passenger vehicles weigh between 2,000-4,000 pounds. Even the heaviest passenger cars - like some SUVs - weigh only 6,000 pounds, and the likelihood of serious injury or even a fatality is quite high for those involved in accidents with a big rig. In fact, while only 4 percent of vehicles on the road are big rigs, they account for 11 percent of accident-related fatalities.
Tired Truck Drivers Cause California Accidents
Causes of truck accidents vary, but are often attributed to driver error by both the truck driver and the drivers of passenger vehicles involved in the accident. Truck driver fatigue has also been a huge problem for trucking companies, and has caused a significant number of accidents. Since truck drivers are under pressure to deliver loads within short periods of time, they are often put in the position of having to drive long distances with little to no break. Regulations now restrict truck drivers from driving more than 10 hours consecutively - and thats after having 10 consecutive hours of rest. Drivers are also required to maintain a logbook to keep a record of consecutive hours behind the wheel in case of an accident.
Driving a truck takes a great deal of special training, and even so, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration predicts that 1 in 20 truck drivers will be in an accident. Regular passenger car drivers also cause accidents with trucks, often due to an underestimation of the limitations of a big rig. For example, trucks are much harder to steer and drivers cannot easily take evasive action. A tractor-trailer going 65 mph needs about 420 feet to come to a stop, while a passenger car takes about 160 feet. Truck drivers also have limited visibility, and other drivers sharing the road may not realize that they are traveling in a blind spot.
Injured in a Truck Accident in San Jose? Call 408-293-7777
The responsibility of avoiding an accident with a truck rests not only with the trucking companies and their drivers, but also with increased awareness and more defensive driving by those in passenger cars. Safe practices for all drivers on the road can help prevent tragedy. In the event that you are involved in an accident with a big rig, it is important to seek counsel to learn more about your legal rights and options. Call our San Jose truck accident injury lawyer at 408-293-7777 to schedule a free consultation about your case.