Why do people need to hire San Francisco truck accident lawyers? How and where do most San Francisco truck accidents occur? What do you do if involved in a truck accident? What prevention methods exist, and how can San Francisco truck accident lawyers help? Answers to these critical questions will give you the information you need if you find you have been involved in a truck accident in San Francisco.
How Most San Francisco Truck Accidents Occur
Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and drive an average of 60 miles per hour on California freeways and interstates—sometimes more if the truck driver exceeds the speed limit. How do San Francisco truck accidents occur? The following list provides the top five devastating and life-altering causes of San Francisco truck accidents.
While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has responsibility for regulating interstate truck drivers, it mandates that truckers follow the rules regarding service hours. Designed to prevent fatigued driving truck accidents, hours of service rules restrict how long truck drivers can operate within a specific time frame before required to rest. Many drivers ignore these rules, despite the risk of getting caught.
Although trucking companies must follow new regulations to install electronic logging devices (EDLs) in their trucks, drivers may still try to cheat the system by not taking mandatory rest breaks.
Speeding and Dangerous Driving
If drivers follow the regulations established by EDLs, they may still choose to speed or drive dangerously to offset productivity losses. Alcohol and drugs can reduce the speed of reaction time, inhibit a driver’s focus, and cause other factors that increase accident risks.
To save money, commercial trucking companies may recruit unqualified truck drivers—some who may not even have commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs) for reasons such as:
- Disqualifying medical conditions
- Safety violations
- Drug and alcohol violations
Another common concern in the commercial trucking industry is negligent retention or continuing to employ an unqualified or dangerous truck driver. In some instances, others could hold the company liable for damages if the driver injures or kills other drivers.
Maintenance issues may affect commercial trucks from properly operating. Poor brakes or tires may prevent the truck from safely stopping to avoid an accident with other vehicles. The responsible party must maintain all parts of the truck and keep it in working order.
Trucking companies must regularly inspect their trucks and perform maintenance per federal regulations, and not just when the truck breaks down. Federal regulation requires companies to meet preventative maintenance measures, as well.
Distracted drivers can include all drivers, even commercial truckers. Truck drivers can only use a cell phone in an exceedingly small number of circumstances. Eating and using other electronic devices can also cause distracted driving.
Where Most San Francisco Truck Accidents Occur
Residents of San Francisco may know where most accidents occur, while visitors may not. Based on the number of accidents, the most dangerous intersections in San Francisco include:
- Mission Street and 16th Street
- Market Street and 5th Street
- 9th Street and Mission Street
- Mission Street and 7th Street
- Eddy Street and Jones Street
- Bryant Street and 2nd Street
- Market Street and Gough Street
- 6th Street and Howard Street
- Valencia and 16th Street
- Fell and Masonic
- Market Street and Octavia Street
What to Do if Involved in a Truck Accident
If you find yourself involved in a truck accident, do not settle for an amount the insurance company will try to offer you. The following checklist will help you after a truck accident.
Your immediate safety is of the utmost precedence, so assess the situation. If further risk of injury might occur, stay in your car.
Relocate to Safety
Move to safety if your car creates a safety hazard or obstructs traffic, but do not leave the accident scene.
Determine if Injuries Occurred
Assess yourself and those involved to see if anyone has injuries.
Immediately Call 911
Report the accident and get help to the scene as soon as possible.
Call Your Car Insurance Company after Contacting an Attorney
Follow the instructions given to you by your attorney before, if, or when you call your car insurance company.
Request a Tow
If possible, request your vehicle to be towed through your car insurance company.
Record the Name of the Tow Company
Write down the name of the tow company and the location of where your vehicle is towed.
Truck Accident Prevention Tips
Truck accidents can happen anywhere, including busy cities such as San Francisco, so motor vehicle drivers must always drive defensively to prevent such accidents. Consider the following:
- Always stay alert
- Avoid distractions (such as texting while driving)
- Pay attention to your surroundings
- During stressful circumstances, try to stay calm, and never encourage road rage by engaging with drivers who exhibit it
- Give safe distance between you and the driver ahead of you
- If visibility is bad, or in the event of poor weather or road conditions, slow down
How Our San Francisco Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you find yourself involved in a truck accident, you need a legal representative in your corner. The firm can establish and determine liability and responsibility. Once liability is determined, a victim can file a claim against the responsible party to receive compensation for medical bills, wage losses, damage to property, as well as pain and suffering. Examples of responsible parties may include the trucking company, the truck driver, the truck maintenance company, the cargo loading company, the truck’s leaseholder, or the manufacturer of the truck’s defective part.
Truck accidents can cause catastrophic and devastating ramifications. But you do not need to feel alone, as one of our truck accident lawyers can help. If you need assistance as a result of a San Francisco truck accident, contact TorkLaw immediately for a free consultation, and find out how you can get the help you require.