A fully loaded commercial big rig can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds. The average size of a passenger vehicle is 3,000-4,000 pounds. When comparing these two realities, an accident between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle would seem to have a bleak outlook. To decrease the frequency of commercial vehicle accidents, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) along with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has laid out various rules and regulations for the trucking industry. Although regulations have significantly decreased the amount of accidents that occur annually, there are still far too many fatal and serious injury accidents caused by large trucks.
Truck Driver Fatigue
By far, one of the most dangerous and simultaneously one of the most common causes of trucking accidents is truck driver fatigue. Drivers are required to commute long hours in order to get their cargo to its destination on time, which can compel them to skip their mandated resting breaks or drive over the regular hours of operation limit. A driver that is fatigued exhibits similar driving styles to those drivers that are under the influence of alcohol, making tired driving extremely dangerous.
Distracted driving is a huge problem on all U.S. roads and highways for drivers of passenger vehicles, but CMV drivers are no exception. There has been a recent nationwide ban on cell phone use for all CMV drivers, and yet some continue to do so. Eating, talking and changing the radio station are other examples of distractions that could result in a serious accident. Distraction for CMV drivers is even more dangerous than it is for other drivers. There is less room in the lane for truck drivers to swerve and there is also less time for them to put on their brakes, since trucks take much longer to come to a complete stop. Overall, distracted driving is less forgiving for truck drivers.
Tire blowouts, broken head and taillights, flimsy rear impact guards and more can all contribute to commercial trucking accidents. To make sure that trucks are in compliance with all FMCSA and DOT standards, truck scales and weigh stations are scattered across our nation's highways.
Improperly Loaded Trucks
A truck that is not loaded properly can present a serious risk. Loads can often shift during operation, and if they are not secured correctly, can cause the truck to be thrown off balance. A common result of improperly loaded trucks is the jackknife accident or rollover.
Drivers must be properly licensed and trained if they wish to operate a CMV. Depending on the type of CMV, the licensing and qualifications will differ. There are three main classes of CMV licenses: A, B and C. In addition, there are also special endorsements for specialized vehicles such as hazardous material carrying trucks. Without the proper experience or a legitimate license, motorists are at risk.
Trucking accidents are extremely dangerous and can often prove fatal or result in permanently debilitating injuries. If you or someone you love became a victim of one of these types of accidents, contact a Santa Clarita truck accident lawyer from The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus today to learn about representation and the possibility of financial compensation for your accident.