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Common Causes of Truck Accidents and Resulting Injuries in California

Crashes involving tractor trailers, semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles kill hundreds and injure thousands of Californians each year. The most likely victims are drivers and passengers of other vehicles or even pedestrians, all of whom are more vulnerable to harm than the truck drivers themselves.

Truck drivers and their employers are at fault for many serious or catastrophic accidents. Indeed, some of the most common causes of trucking accidents are related to the pressures placed on drivers by the trucking industry.

For instance, accidents are often the result of truck drivers speeding, driving too fast for the road or weather conditions or attempting to overtake other drivers on the road. Another cause of accidents is fatigued truck drivers who forgo adequate sleep time. Both of these problems may be the result of drivers trying to meet overly demanding delivery schedules imposed by the companies that hire them.

Another common cause of trucking accidents is distracted driving. Traveling over long and monotonous terrain, drivers may become inattentive to their surroundings, including other vehicles and pedestrians. Truck drivers might also make cell phone calls or text while driving, rather than pulling over to do so, in order to maintain their schedule.

Crashes can also result from driver error, especially if inexperienced and poorly trained drivers are involved. Commercial trucks are more difficult to control than ordinary vehicles and require drivers who have special training to handle them. Drivers also need to adhere to government regulations intended to keep truck driving safe.

Still another potential problem is driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Truck drivers may take stimulant drugs as a way of maintaining their alertness during long hauls. They might also be addicted to recreational drugs or alcoholic beverages or use them as a means to fight boredom.

Some causes of truck accidents occur before the truck even leaves the garage. A failure to inspect and maintain a truck properly can make the truck unsafe to operate. Improper cargo loading may result in the truck’s weight being unbalanced, which can cause it to shift during transport. These problems can be particularly dangerous in bad weather, and may result in a loss of control at a critical juncture.

If you have been injured or have lost a family member in a trucking accident, you need the assistance of a personal injury attorney who can determine the immediate and underlying causes for the crash and sue the people and companies responsible so that you can be fairly compensated.

Located in Santa Barbara, Patterson Law is one of southern California’s premier wrongful death and personal injury law firms, serving Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident, please contact us online or call 888-479-4589 for an initial consultation.