Common Reasons for Truck Accidents in Sacramento

car about to get in accident with commercial truck

Trucking accidents, like any vehicular accident, are extremely delicate situations. If you or someone you know were involved in a trucking accident, you must hire an experienced Sacramento truck accident lawyer to help ensure a successful outcome.

Unfortunately, big rig accidents are especially delicate because they often involve serious injuries and even fatalities. On top of that, these accidents can get complicated quickly because the truck driver is “on the job” when the accident happens. In these scenarios, there are many other factors that come into play that make it a unique accident case that requires special attention.

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the common reasons for truck accidents in Sacramento and what you can do should you be faced with this difficult situation.

Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

There are several causes of trucking accidents. Although truck drivers are trained professionals, their job is not easy and they’re often under tight schedules and required to maneuver their rig through tricky areas at all hours of the day–there’s a lot that can go wrong.

Common reasons for truck accidents include:

Impairment Due to Drug or Alcohol Use

One of the top causes of trucking accidents is driver impairment. In fact, a federal study done over a three-year period showed that alcohol, prescription medications, and over-the-counter medications may have contributed to 29,000 large truck accidents. Many drivers use medications to try to keep themselves awake and alert during a long shift, however, excessive usage impairs their ability to manage their truck and results in dangerous dui accidents.

Speeding or Reckless Driving Behavior

Excessive speed is another leading cause of serious truck accidents. Due to the sheer size of the truck and the inherent braking and handling limitations associated, drivers simply don’t have the time to react to sudden changes or dangers in their environment if they are driving too fast. More often than not, by the time truckers realize that they need to stop or swerve, there isn’t sufficient time to safely slow the truck down.

Truck Driver Fatigue

Truckers often have strict delivery deadlines and are forced to spend long hours behind the wheel to make sure their cargo gets to its destination on time. To do this, they’re required to stay awake and focus for continuous hours without sleep or rest. Fatigue plays a major role in the impairment of a truck driver’s reaction time.

Distracted Driving

There’s so much to be distracted by behind the wheel. From talking or texting on your cellphone to gazing at the scenery, it only takes a split second of distraction to cause a serious accident. Distracted driving is even more hazardous in bad weather situations where losing control is easy.

Truck Defects or Inadequate Maintenance

Issues like tire blowouts, faulty brakes, an unbalanced load, or a defect in the steering mechanism can lead to dangerous accidents. By law, tractor trailers must be inspected and maintained regularly to ensure their safety and reliability on the roads. Failure to comply can cause serious safety issues.

Truck Driver Errors

Truck driver errors occur most often when drivers are overworked from too-high demands and unreasonable expectations from trucking companies. Some trucking companies even provide incentives to deliver loads more quickly, this process promotes driver negligence and contributes to big rig accidents.

Types of Big Rig Accidents

There are several different accident types that can result from any one of the common reasons for truck accidents listed above. There are many variables at play that determine the seriousness of the accident and the extent of the damage.

Here are the most common types of trucking accidents:

  • Jackknife: This is a common type of accident and it occurs when the cab of the truck slows down, but the trailer fails to do the same. This causes the trailer to shift at a 90-degree angle to the cab and will wipe out anything in its path.
  • Rear-End: Rear-end accidents can happen with any type of vehicle, not just 18-wheelers, however, it’s usually much more severe when big rigs are involved. If a trucker fails to slow down timely and collides with the vehicle in front of them, the force of impact can not only cause serious damage and injury to the driver they hit but can also prompt a chain reaction of collisions.
  • Rollover: A rollover is just like it sounds; when a truck takes a turn too fast or has a load that’s improperly secured and the cargo shifts, the whole truck and trailer can rollover. It’s a very dangerous situation when the balance of the truck is upset.
  • Underride: An underride can occur when a passenger vehicle drives underneath a truck’s trailer either from the side or the rear. The top of the car can be sheared off and cause severe damages to both the passenger vehicle and the tractor-trailer.
  • Lost Load: Improper loading and/or driving can cause a truck’s cargo to fall off and into the road. Lost load situations can cause severe accidents for other drivers on the road. There are additional dangers associated when the trailer is filled with hazardous materials that spills into the road and creates a public health danger.

Who’s Liable for a Semi-Truck Accident?

Your initial thought may be that the only responsible party of the accident is truck driver, however, there may be several parties at fault. When you trust an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you, a thorough investigation will be done to determine all responsible parties. These cases are usually more complicated and involved than you might initially think.

The list of potentially responsible parties for commercial truck accidents include:

  • The truck driver
  • The trucking company
  • Trucking manufacturers
  • Cargo manufacturers
  • Roadway authorities
  • Other drivers on the road
  • Truck repair companies

The Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer You Can Trust

As your personal injury lawyers, we’ll get to the bottom of who shares the responsibility for the accident and we’ll seek rightful compensation for your injuries, medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

It’s important that you know who’s at fault to ensure your case moves in the right direction and that you’re ensured the best outcome possible. We’re the Sacramento personal injury lawyer that takes a look at the bigger picture and explores all possible avenues for you so that you can receive the maximum recovery that you deserve.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or death as the result of a big rig accident, give our firm a call today to begin discussing your case and discovering your options. There are never any fees until we win your case settlement.

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