Big trucks, serious crashes

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Big trucks, serious crashes

With some 30 million registered vehicles, California gets a lot of traffic. The heavy-freighted loads borne by massive vehicles doing international and interstate trade bring lots of commerce and lots of roadway risk.

When crashes are reconstructed, there’s generally not just one cause. Literally hundreds of elements may come into play. In general, though, the usual suspects include vehicle speed, driver training and skill, weather hazards, roadway conditions and vehicle operational flaws.

Errors of other motorists that cause truck accidents

Inadequate surveillance when sharing the road with large vehicles  not looking far enough ahead, nor checking the mirrors frequently enough, nor being hyper-mindful of the blind spot where the truck driver has no visibility — is a chief culprit in vehicle collision.

In addition, these bad decisions should be avoided:

  • Changing lanes right in front of a truck
  • Driving to the right of a truck that is turning right
  • Misjudging the speed of an oncoming truck and then turning left
  • Merging improperly into traffic
  • Failing to give a truck extra space when it’s merging or changing lanes
  • Unsafe passing
  • Driving between large trucks
  • Abandoning a vehicle in a travel lane, not getting that vehicle onto the shoulder of the road

When the truck driver is at fault

According to news reports, on the evening of Feb. 1, a tractor-trailer traveling on a bridge in Santa Barbara County billowed such thick smoke it created a sudden no-visibility condition for other cars on the road. In the space of 10 seconds, some four accidents involving seven cars took place.

The truck driver drove off.

It’s unlawful to not stop after an accident, but it was reported the truck driver seemed to be unaware that the accidents had even happened.

Motor vehicle accidents are complex events. It can be helpful when sorting things out and confronting damage to consult with skilled counsel experienced in this area of the law.