Obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL) requires extensive training for truck drivers; however, it does not guarantee that all potential issues will be avoided when operating a semi-truck or tractor-trailer. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National Center for Statistics and Analysis, truck accidents accounted for over 100,000 injuries and nearly 5,000 deaths in the United States in 2020. Truck accidents can have devastating effects due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, which are larger than passenger cars and can cause catastrophic damage in a collision.
One of the most common causes of truck accidents in Los Angeles is driver error. This can include a variety of behaviors, such as distracted driving or driver fatigue. Distracted driving is a growing problem among all drivers, and truck drivers are no exception. With the widespread use of cell phones, GPS devices, and other electronic devices, truck drivers may become increasingly distracted while behind the wheel, resulting in traffic accidents.
Fatigue is also a major problem among truck drivers, as they often work long hours and are more prone to sleep deprivation. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented hours of service (HOS) regulations to combat truck driver fatigue, but some trucking companies and drivers still flout these rules. According to a study by the American Transportation Research Institute, more than 60% of truck drivers reported feeling pressure to exceed the HOS limits. Furthermore, a study by the National Sleep Foundation found that commercial truck drivers suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, with 44% of drivers reporting that they sleep less than 6 hours per night.
This lack of sleep can impair their ability to drive safely. According to the FMCSA, fatigue is a factor in about 13% of all large truck crashes across the country. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that fatigue is a contributing factor in at least 100,000 car crashes and 1500 deaths every year. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has also listed driver fatigue as one of the most significant safety concerns for the trucking industry.
The nature of truck driving itself is a contributing factor to fatigue. Long hours on the road, coupled with the monotony of driving and the constant vibration of the truck can cause drowsiness. Truck drivers are often required to drive through the night, which can disrupt their natural sleep patterns and result in sleep deprivation. The pressure to meet tight deadlines and maintain safety and compliance standards can also add to the stress and fatigue of the driver, which can increase their risk of an accident. Lastly, the isolation of truck driving, which can be both physically and emotionally demanding, also contributes to driver fatigue and stress.
Another major cause of truck accidents in Los Angeles is mechanical failure. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict regulations for the maintenance of commercial vehicles, which includes regular inspection, maintenance, and repair. However, some trucking companies may neglect these responsibilities in order to cut costs, putting their drivers and other road users at risk. Examples of mechanical failures that can lead to truck accidents include worn brakes, faulty tires, and poorly maintained engines.
If you or someone you know has been recently injured in a truck accident in the Los Angeles area, you may require legal help from a personal injury attorney. These accidents can cause significant physical, emotional, and financial damage. While there is no shortage of truck accident attorneys in Los Angeles, it’s important to find one that can provide you with the specific guidance and support you need to navigate the legal process and obtain fair compensation for your losses.
Truck accident cases can be complex and may involve multiple parties, such as the trucking company, the truck driver, the manufacturer of the truck, or the manufacturer of its components. An attorney who specializes in truck accident cases will have the knowledge and experience to effectively handle these types of cases and will guide you through the process of filing a claim and obtaining financial recovery. These attorneys have the knowledge and experience to effectively navigate the complex legal landscape and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, do not hesitate to seek legal help as soon as possible.