How Do We Stop Semi-Truck Crashes in California?
It is no secret that semi-trucks pose a significant risk for innocent motorists across California. These heavy vehicles feature very long braking distances, making it almost impossible for them to avoid impacts that a smaller vehicle could easily dodge. Low maneuverability is another factor, and these vehicles are often laden with plenty of fuel, unbalanced loads, and dangerous cargo. The truckers themselves represent a potential hazard, often being distracted or even intoxicated behind the wheel. You might also point out that the trucking industry is inherently dangerous, as it prioritizes speedy deliveries over public safety. The goal, of course, is to make as much money as possible. This leads to a constant stream of semi-truck crashes that leave people injured or deceased. But how can we stop semi-truck crashes in California? Are there any viable solutions today?
Semi-Truck Crashes are Common in California
The issue of semi-truck crashes in California is one that few can ignore – especially those who have personally experienced these crashes firsthand. On November 14th, it was reported that two victims in Fresno lost their lives after a collision with a semi-truck. The victims were in a Toyota Camry when their vehicle collided with the semi-truck Immediately after the crash, teh semi-truck leaked dangerous and flammable fuel over the road. Police later confirmed that the semi-truck driver was to blame, as he had failed to come to a halt at a stop sign before rolling through the intersection.
The impact was so intense that the Camry was launched into the air, flying 40 feet and landing in a nearby vineyard. Both vehicles were found in an overturned position. The single occupant of the Camry was killed. The semi-truck had two occupants; one of the occupants was flown to a nearby hospital, and the other lost their life. Neither of the two people inside the semi-truck was wearing their seatbelts.
Single Vehicle Hit Three Separate TImes
Also on November 14, it was reported that a driver lost their life in an accident involving a semi-truck near San Ramon. The crash occurred on 680, and it began when a Mercedes crashed into the center divider. Immobilized, the vehicle stopped in the middle of the highway before being struck by a Ford Fusion. The driver of the Mercedes was ejected from the vehicle as a result of the collision. A semi-truck then approached the accident scene and struck the Mercedes again, sending the car back into the center divider and into the path of yet another vehicle. The driver of the Mercedes was pronounced dead at the scene, and the highway had to be shut down for four hours.
What is the Solution?
So, how do we prevent crashes like these? What is the solution, and how do we make the trucking industry safer for all California residents? The answer is not exactly clear, but there are definitely some things we should stop doing. On November 15th, it was reported that the state of California was prosecuting 20 individuals for a DMV scheme. This scheme allowed hundreds of truckers to drive semi-trucks despite being completely unqualified to do so.
Among those facing charges are DMV workers, trucking school owners, and some affiliates. The scheme was simple: Provide candidates with CDLs (commercial driver’s licenses) without requiring proper qualifications or testing. A total of 20 people were charged in the Eastern District of California for “DMV corruption.” It seems as though some of the criminals were bribing public officials (most likely DMV workers), engaging in identity fraud, accessing restricted computers, and conspiring with one another to put unqualified, potentially dangerous truckers on California’s highways.
We know that there is a trucker shortage in California, but we cannot sacrifice safety just to keep the trucking industry rolling. We have already seen the trucking industry lower its hiring standards considerably – in some cases hiring truckers as young as 18. It goes without saying that many accidents are probably caused by inexperienced, underqualified truckers.
But what about autonomous semi-trucks? What if we removed drivers from the equation entirely, relying on self-driving vehicles to deliver goods across our highways? This is already happening. In late October of 2022, it was reported that a California-based company called Kodiak Robotics started hauling IKEA products within Texas, using driverless semi-trucks. Of course, developments like these threaten the livelihoods of truckers – an issue that should not be taken lightly.
In addition, it should be noted that self-driving trucks do, in fact, crash. We have seen this in the infamous TuSimple crash of 2022, in which one person suffered moderate injuries. It is also worth noting that TuSimple reportedly tried to blame human error for the crash when many investigators believed that the AI technology was flawed.
Tesla is building its own fleet of self-driving semi-trucks, but this brand is no stranger to autonomous crashes either. On November 16th, it was reported that two additional fatalities were reportedly tied to the Model 3’s self-driving capabilities. This brings the total number of self-driving crashes up to 16 since June 2021. Clearly, self-driving technology might not be the savior many of us are hoping for – at least not yet.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in California?
If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney in California, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured plaintiffs across the Golden State – including those who have been harmed in semi-truck crashes. We know that victims are often left with considerable medical expenses and no way to earn reliable income. With no money coming in and mounting medical bills, a personal injury lawsuit might be your only real option for financial security. A lawsuit can also provide compensation for non-economic damages, such as emotional distress, PTSD, disfigurement, depression, anxiety, and more. If you wait too long, the statute of limitations may prevent you from receiving compensation. Get the ball rolling today and book a consultation with Mary Alexander & Associates now.