Why are Semi-Trucks So Dangerous in California?
When most drivers see a semi-truck on the highway, they instinctively tense up and start to feel a little anxious. It is a natural and understandable response, as we are obviously aware of the damage and destruction that these vehicles are capable of. But what makes semi-trucks so dangerous on the road? Some of the most dangerous aspects of these vehicles are obvious, such as their large, heavy size. But other hazards might not be so obvious, and it makes sense to educate yourself about these dangers if you want to stay safe on the road. When you’re aware of the potential danger that a semi-truck may cause, it becomes easier to avoid potential accidents.
Of course, learning about the potential dangers posed by semi-trucks is a case of “too little, too late” for drivers who have already experienced semi-truck crashes. For these victims, the priority is not understanding why semi-trucks are dangerous, but rather seeking justice and compensation for their damages. And make no mistake – the damages associated with semi-truck crashes can be quite significant. Plaintiffs who file injury claims often struggle with major medical issues such as spinal cord injuries, disfigurement, burns, head injuries, fractures, internal bleeding, and much more. For these injured victims, the only possible route forward is to file a claim and seek compensation.
Fortunately, a settlement can provide you with all of the funds you need to cover medical expenses, missed wages, and other losses you might have incurred due to your semi-truck crash. In addition, a settlement can provide you with compensation for non-economic damages, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and psychological issues associated with disfigurement. For family members who have lost loved ones due to semi-truck crashes, compensation is also possible for funeral expenses, loss of future wages, and more.
It always makes sense to book a consultation with an attorney as soon as possible if you find yourself in this situation. The statute of limitations has a tendency to creep up on you, and you may lose the ability to sue. While internet research is a solid first step as you learn about this legal process, the only way to actually take action is with the help of an attorney.
The Physical Attributes of a Semi-Truck
The first thing you need to consider is the fact that semi-trucks are larger, heavier, and more cumbersome than a typical passenger vehicle. Because of this, even a slight impact can have devastating consequences. A common situation involves a semi-truck coming to a sudden stop, giving following vehicles very little time to react. This can result in a type of crash known as “underriding,” which involves the vehicle behind the semi-truck r going underneath the trailer. The impact can shear the roof from the vehicle – potentially decapitating the motorists inside. By contrast, a rear-ender between two sedans at the same speeds might result in a fairly innocuous diagnosis of whiplash.
Semi-trucks are also bulky and cumbersome. A smaller, more agile vehicle might be able to dodge hazards that suddenly appear, but a semi-truck driver often must accept the fact that he can do absolutely nothing to avoid upcoming hazards – even when there is plenty of time to react. This is because even if truckers slam on the brakes, it often takes hundreds of feet for their vehicles to come to a complete stop. They could attempt to steer around the hazard instead, but then they run the risk of jackknifing and rolling – potentially causing additional crashes and injuries.
Blind Spots – Another important thing to consider is that semi-trucks have considerable blind spots. This is an especially notable danger for smaller vehicles, such as Smart Cars or motorcycles. In some cases, these vehicles might be completely invisible to truckers – even when they are directly next to the semi-truck. And when a trucker decides to suddenly change lanes without shoulder checking, these blind spots can lead to tragic accidents. This is why most motorists accelerate when passing a semi-truck in an effort to get out of any potential blind spots as quickly as possible.
The Human Factor – Truckers can also cause significant hazards. The trucking industry as a whole encourages rushing, speeding, and staying on the road for well over 12 hours at a time. Truckers get paid based on how fast they complete their journeys – not on how safely they drive. This encourages many truckers to use stimulants and other drugs to stay awake for long periods of time – potentially affecting their judgement and reaction times. Truckers also struggle with boredom during these long hauls, causing them to text, eat, watch videos, or even play video games while driving. These distractions can obviously cause major hazards for other motorists.
Dangerous Cargo – Last but certainly not least, dangerous cargo can play an especially dangerous role in truck accidents. Some semi-trucks carry flammable materials, such as gasoline or fuel. Others carry toxic waste, while some even carry radioactive materials. Even objects like logs and metal pipes can cause significant hazards when they fall off the back of trucks and strike passing motorists. Even if the cargo is completely innocuous, it can still cause issues if packed improperly, causing an unbalanced load. These unbalanced loads can increase the chances of a rollover when trucks take sharp turns.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced truck accident attorney in California, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. With offices conveniently located in San Francisco and Los Angeles, we are ready and waiting to assist you. We know that truck accidents can result in serious, life-altering injuries – and we can help you fight for the compensation you need to move forward. From gathering evidence and negotiating, to battling it out in court, we can help with virtually every aspect of your upcoming lawsuit. Based on an initial first consultation, we will craft an action plan catered to your unique situation. Reach out today to get started.