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What really caused your accident with a trucker?

In just one year, nearly 300 Californians were killed in accidents involving large trucks, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Flat beds, 18-wheelers and semis are huge when compared to passenger vehicles. Driving them can be a challenge, even for professional drivers.

Commercial truckers carry a lot of responsibility as accidents involving their trucks can have catastrophic results. Even the slightest driving mistake, by either the driver of a commercial truck or another driver, can lead to injuries or death. In order to help you avoid an accident with a large vehicle, it may be helpful to know the common causes of commercial truck accidents.

Errors by truck drivers

The negligent driving behavior of a commercial truck driver is a common factor in many accidents involving the large vehicles. You may be at risk of being in an accident if a commercial truck driver:

  • Drives too quickly for the weather conditions
  • Follows other vehicles too closely
  • Falls asleep while driving
  • Drives while under the influence of prescription and non-prescription drugs
  • Drowsy driving

Give truckers extra room on the road - if you can - when you notice them following too closely, driving too quickly or weaving in their lanes.

Errors by other motorists

Many motorists are unaware of the limited capabilities of commercial trucks, engaging in driving behaviors that cause accidents with commercial trucks. Visibility, stopping and changing lanes is quite different for large trucks, particularly at high speeds. Maneuvers by car and small truck drivers, such as attempting to pass a truck and being moved out of position due to air turbulence, driving in blind spots or suddenly changing lanes in front of truck, can result in accidents.

Who else might be to blame?

While the driving behavior of a commercial truck driver is significant factor in accidents, there are a variety of aspects of the commercial trucking industry that may contribute to the driver's behavior or to the conditions surrounding the accident. A commercial truck accident can be a caused by other issues beyond bad driving behaviors, such as:

  • Insufficient training for proper driving techniques and defensive driving
  • Inadequate inspections
  • Overloaded cargo
  • Manufacturing defect with the truck
  • Violations of federal or state trucking regulations
  • Inadequate truck maintenance
  • Unreasonable schedules and deadlines that compel drivers to hurry regardless of the safety risks

In California, parties other than just the truck drivers may be just as legally responsible for your injuries or losses from an accident. These parties may include trucking companies, vehicle manufacturers, parts manufacturers and others.

If you were a victim of an accident involving a commercial truck, consult an experienced truck accident attorney. The lawyers at Rosenthal & Kreeger LLP will examine your case and advise you of your rights and options.

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