Truck accidents can cause devastating and life-altering consequences for all those involved. From 2015-2017, 11,000 truck accidents took the lives of 12,230 people. Riverside truck accident lawyers had to assist with some of those as 3,865 of those crashes occurred in California alone. But what other statistics do you need to know? What causes these types of accidents? What prevention techniques and safety tips do you need to adhere to? And how can Riverside truck accident lawyers help? Read on and discover more about truck accidents and your safety while driving next to and sharing the road with them.
California Truck Accident Statistics
As 70% of freight in the United States moves by truck, it should come as no surprise that accidents occur while hauling it. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 2015 and 2017, 33 states had more than 100 occupants of other vehicles killed in large-truck crashes, 21 had more than 200, and ten had more than 300 fatalities as a result of large truck accidents.
The most dangerous time to share the road with large trucks falls between 1 pm and 2 pm on either Thursday or Friday. The safest days to share the road with large trucks fall on the weekend at around 10 pm and 12 am.
But truck drivers traveling on the I-10 highway need to do so with caution as the I-10 takes the number one spot for the most dangerous road accidents, coming to an astounding 259 deaths out of California’s total of 846—all in California’s southern counties.
California’s southern counties lead the list in deadliest truck accidents, with Riverside County taking the eighth spot with eight crashes.
While trucks can weigh 20-30 times more than a passenger vehicle, the possibilities for potential damage to a car and its occupants are endless.
So, what causes these accidents?
Causes of Riverside Truck Accidents
Many reasons contribute to why heavy-duty truck fatalities increased 3% from 2016 to 2017. By 2017, traffic fatalities with large commercial trucks rose 9% yearly to the highest level in 29 years. Take a look and find out why.
Speeding affected 17% of truck crashes with at least one large truck occupant fatality (FARS, 2017).
Fatigue and Drowsiness
Truck driver safety records that fatigue and lack of sleep are recorded danger signs and can affect truck drivers the same as any other motor vehicle driver.
Driving Under the Influence
The National Transportation Institute states that approximately 1 in 7 truck driver applicants cannot pass a drug test. Over 21% of all large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had at least one prior speeding conviction, equal to that of passenger car drivers involved in fatal accidents.
Distracted driving may create another safety hazard on the road for many of the nation’s truck drivers. Between 2015 and 2017, 2,279 truck drivers had been a part of at least one other accident within the last five years, and 137 of those drivers had been involved in 3 or more crashes.
Some speculate the need for productivity pushes truck drivers to get more done, “forcing” them to race against the clock’s regulations that mandate a driving limit to 11 hours within in 14-hour period, in addition to a 30-minute break every eight hours.
As a profession, trucking has 26.8 deaths per 10,000 workers compared with 3.5 deaths per 10,000 for all other professions. According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics in 2018, a record number of truckers died on the job in 2017, equaling 840.
Types of Truck Accidents
The crash and accident reports provide vital information about the cause and type of accident that causes someone’s injuries, perhaps even takes their life. The first common factor related to truck accidents is a truck driver’s failure to yield the right of way. Here are the next nine:
- Careless driving
- Improper lane usage
- Failure to obey traffic signs and signals
- Following improperly
- Stopping in roadway
- Erratic or reckless vehicle operation
- Improper lane change
- Making an improper turn
Safety Tips and Precaution Techniques
Even though studies show that most truck drivers practice more extreme caution while on the road than the rest of ordinary drivers, thousands of injuries from truck accidents still occur on an annual basis. So what safety tips and precaution techniques can drivers use while on the road with truckers?
- Respectfully share the road. Be considerate of each other. Closely follow safety rules.
- Never speed and pull out in front of a truck to get in front of it. Instead:
- Be predictable
- Signal your intentions
- Give more time to respond for larger vehicles
- Be cognizant of large trucks and their exceedingly small blind spots. Stay well behind the truck’s driver so they can always see you. Stay wide on the right whenever you can.
- When passing, use caution. Consider the truck’s speed as it will naturally increase on downhills and decrease when climbing up hills.
- Give large trucks plenty of space—especially when windy or when road conditions could lead to unsafe situations or circumstances.
- Lower your bright headlights.
- Use a seatbelt whenever you are in a moving vehicle.
Riverside Truck Accident Lawyers
The NHTSA recommends the following when an accident happens in Riverside County:
- Stay at the crash scene.
- Check the condition of all the people involved in the crash
- Call the police
- Exchange pertinent contact information from other drivers/people involved (e.g., witnesses, etc.)
- Inform your insurance company
- Get immediate and/or appropriate medical treatment.
- Record and monitor the details.
- Take photos of the vehicle(s), damage, and injuries, as well as the accident scene
- Consider hiring a Riverside truck accident lawyer
You may ask why you may need a Riverside truck accident lawyer? Well, injury lawyers get paid to do the things that you should not have to worry about right now. After a truck accident, your priorities should be to get better and not worry and fuss over details and endless paperwork.
Not sure who to call? Contact TorkLaw for your free consultation today, and put your mind at ease for the sake of getting well.