Truck Accidents Archives
Truck accidents are scary anywhere and at any time; there is a reason for the chill of fear you feel when you drive near 18-wheelers on the highway. Trucks are huge, and they cannot stop as quickly as cars can. They spend much of their time on interstate highways, where the speed of traffic is higher. If you have suffered serious injuries in a truck accident, the key to collecting damages is to show that there is something that the truck driver or another party could have done to prevent the accident.
On October 3, the Internet celebrates Mean Girls Day, perhaps the most Internet-only holiday since Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19), but in Southern California, the day is best known as the anniversary of the verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
Truckers and truck fleet owners in California are divided on the current push to relax federal truck safety rules. Support for more relaxed regulations began to build up in December 2017 when the federal government mandated the use of electronic logging devices on all large commercial trucks. The need to count hours and minutes and the rigid enforcement of hours-of-service guidelines are, for some, the unhappy result of this mandate.
Accidents involving large trucks are likely to be more severe than other traffic crashes. While the average passenger vehicle in California weighs around 4,000 pounds, a semi truck could weigh as much as 20 times more. The most common reasons behind truck crashes are driver error, equipment failure and poor truck maintenance.
The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security has compiled data on the pre-employment drug tests of commercial truck drivers in California and the rest of the U.S., finding that many truckers who are habitual drug users are being accepted. This data is based on a survey of 3.5 million CMV drivers. In all, 301,000 truck drivers on the road today would fail if subjected to a hair analysis.
The behavior of commercial vehicle drivers in California and other states can have a big impact on how safe the roads are for other motorists and truck drivers. This is why a fleet management systems provider has reviewed driving behaviors of more than 6,000 of its fleet customers. It focused on small and midsize businesses with 2 to 200 trucks.
A crash with a big rig on a California highway can produce serious injuries among passenger vehicle occupants. The sheer size and weight of commercial trucks increase the force of impact. Although truck accident victims might apply the same personal injury laws to collect damages as car accident victims, the cases possess greater complexity.
In July, law enforcement officers in California and across the U.S. will be participating in Operation Safe Driver Week. During the event, which is sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, participating officers will target commercial and passenger vehicle drivers who are engaging in dangerous behaviors, including speeding.
On Jan. 28, Road Safe America released a sobering new report showing that large truck crashes have increased in California and most other states over the last eight years. In response to its findings, the organization is renewing its call for the mandatory use of speed limiters and automatic emergency braking systems by the trucking industry.
There are roughly 100 deaths per day on the roadways throughout California and the rest of the country. According to the Road to Zero Coalition, all of these deaths are preventable. That's why the coalition has set a goal of eliminating all traffic deaths by the year 2050. The CEO of the National Safety Council understands that the target date may be ambitious. However, she pointed out that sending a man to the moon seemed like an ambitious goal as well 50 years ago.
The U.S. DoT recorded 3,986 large truck crash fatalities in 2016 through its Fatality Analysis Reporting System. When compared to FARS data in 2009, this represents a 27 percent jump in fatalities. Considering the great weight of commercial trucks, it's no surprise that 66 percent of those fatalities were passenger vehicle occupants.
Truck drivers in California may be aware of the rising number of accidents in their industry. Too many truckers are engaging in bad driving habits, including speeding, driving drowsy and talking on the phone while behind the wheel. Some even feel urged to be negligent because of the incentives they receive with every load delivered.
A collision with a big rig on a California highway often turns deadly if a passenger vehicle lodges beneath the trailer, especially from the rear. Known as underride crashes, they can decapitate vehicle passengers at low speeds or inflict serious head and neck injuries. In 2011, 19 percent of fatal wrecks involving commercial trucks and passenger vehicles were underride accidents. Federal legislation that would require guards to prevent vehicles from sliding beneath trailers has failed to move past the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
According to data published by the federal government, there were more than 4,300 traffic fatalities in large truck crashes during the year 2016. That represents a 28 percent increase since 2009. Since the late 1990s, the National Transportation Safety Board has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at least 10 times to require crash avoidance systems in large trucks operating in California and across the U.S.
Truckers in California as well as the owners of truck fleets may be interested to hear that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed revisions to its hours-of-service rules. The advance notice of proposed rulemaking was published in August 2018, and the FMCSA is welcoming comments on it until September 24. It is holding public listening sessions at various locations.
California residents who drive commercial trucks for a living may be wondering which states are the safest for them and which are the most dangerous. Verizon Connect, a fleet management systems provider, has studied this very question. It analyzed the behavior of drivers from more than 6,200 of its fleet customers, including small and mid-size businesses with 2 to 200 light vans, pick-ups and big rigs, between October 2015 and September 2017.
Drowsy driving is a danger that many people in California are familiar with. Drowsiness can impairs judgment, reaction times, cognition and the sense of distance, and if the driver falls asleep, he or she is liable to collide with other vehicles or with pedestrians and even swerve off the road. It's estimated that over 100,000 accidents occur every year in the U.S. because of driver fatigue.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has planned a week-long brake inspection spree for Sept. 16-22. Commercial vehicle operators in California can expect full Level I inspections of their braking systems. The nationwide safety event aims to identify unsafe vehicles and educate all operators about the compliance standards for their brakes.
Drivers in California aren't the only ones who get anxious around commercial trucks. Over the course of an eight-day workweek, the average trucker puts in about 70 hours, and the resulting fatigue puts them at a higher risk for an accident. Fatigued driving accounts for an estimated 100,000 truck crashes every year. However, a startup founded three years ago in Oklahoma may soon develop software that will help reduce this number and, along with it, the apprehension that other motorists feel around large trucks.
California residents who suffer injuries in accidents caused by negligent truck drivers or poorly maintained semi-tractor trailers often choose to settle their civil claims at the negotiating table rather than in a courtroom. Reaching an out-of-court settlement allows plaintiffs to avoid possibly protracted and expensive litigation that provides no guarantee of a successful outcome. However, the damages awarded by juries are sometimes far higher than the sums offered by defendants during settlement discussions.
Commercial truck and bus drivers in California should know that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has scheduled its annual inspection spree for June 5 to June 7. This 72-hour event is called the International Roadcheck, and it takes place across North America. The CVSA conducts it to enforce compliance with driver and vehicle safety regulations.
Truck drivers in California and around the country are not permitted to remain behind the wheel after being on duty for 14 hours under current hours of service regulations. However, some trade groups say that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's rules actually encourage drowsy driving and place other road users in danger. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is one such group, and they have petitioned the FMCSA to allow drivers to reset their 14-hour clocks by taking breaks of up to three hours.
The United States Congress is currently considering a bipartisan effort to mandate guard rails beneath truck trailers. These safety guards could prevent smaller cars from sliding under the much larger trucks. The proposed bill could have a major impact on trucking companies throughout California and the rest of the U.S.
While 18-wheelers may seem intimidating, it's not too hard to stay safe around them. Drivers in California should consider the following tips the next time they find themselves sharing the road with a big rig. It all comes down to having patience and being aware of the dangers.
Commercial truck drivers in California may consider commenting on a proposed survey by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The survey will pertain to excessive commuting or commuting that exceeds 150 consecutive minutes by truck drivers.
Drug arrests are frequent among commercial truck drivers; even more distressing is the fact that these arrests are often left unreported to the trucking companies. State agencies in California and across the nation often fail to communicate this information, meaning that some convicted drivers are still on the road with a clean record.
Unhealthy truck drivers could be placing drivers in California and across the United States at risk, according to a new study. In fact, truck drivers who suffer from three or more medical issues could be up to four times as likely to crash their vehicles as their healthy colleagues.
Because of the size and weight of large trucks like 18-wheelers, drivers of passenger vehicles in California have to be extra cautious when they are sharing the road with trucks. Knowing what to do near big rigs can help prevent motor vehicle accidents.
Hawaii is one of the states to take the lead on legislation that aims to eliminate "dangerous wheels" such as wheels with wheel spikes. The statute prohibits any cap, wheel cover, or wheel decoration that extends at least four inches beyond the portion of the wheel rim that extends away from the vehicle.
California truck drivers will not be subject to a new set of screening criteria for sleep apnea. On August 4, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a notice that it would withdraw an initiative that dealt with these screening requirements. The agency had worked on the rule throughout 2016 in an effort to standardize criteria for sleep apnea screening. There were several meetings and listening sessions held throughout the country, and the agency also sought input from industry organizations.
California residents may believe that bog rig drivers are often careless while behind the wheel. While some may not be the best drivers in the country, many accidents between large trucks and passenger vehicles are caused by the operator of the smaller vehicle. Distracted driving and other forms of human error are likely to blame. However, there are other factors that may come into play when large trucks and smaller vehicles collide.
Residents of California may be concerned with the increasing trend of fatal truck accidents since 2009. There are a variety of reasons for these troublesome trends, and they mean more people are likely to be involved in a truck accident. Lawsuits for commercial trucking accidents work differently than normal vehicle accident lawsuits.
The refusal of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a class-action case presented by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association allows a lower court ruling to stand. At issue was the extent of driver violations shared by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration through the Pre-Employment Screening Program. With the lawsuit's claims of privacy violation dismissed, truck drivers in California can expect any infractions, including minor ones, to be available to truck companies screening potential employees.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has approved a rule dealing the training of commercial driver license applicants in California and around the country. The rules met with support from trade groups who helped create them. They became effective on June 5, but there is a compliance window of close to three years. Commercial driver's license applicants who receive them on or after Feb. 7, 2020 will be subject to the rule.
Motorists in California are more likely to see trucks and buses being pulled over between June 8 and June 10 during the annual International Roadcheck safety campaign. The initiative is organized each year by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. The nonprofit group says that about 15 commercial vehicles will be inspected each minute during the 72-hour-long effort. Federal inspectors will be looking for violations of federal safety regulations, and commercial vehicles that pose a threat to the safety of other road users are likely to be ordered out of service.
Testing performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that the mandatory installation of side-mounted underride bars on semi-tractor trailers in California and around the country could save lives. Legislators are currently reviewing regulations that would mandate the fitting of underride bars to the rear of large commercial trucks, but the IIHS tests indicate that these safety features protect passenger vehicle occupants just as well when they are installed on the sides of trailers.
California residents may be aware that self-driving vehicles may be in their future. With technological advances in vehicle technology, however, come questions and concerns regarding roadway safety. When commercial trucks enter the discussion, safety concerns often escalate.
California motorists might have been in more danger of involvement in a fatal large truck accident in 2015 than in the previous year. In 2015, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there was an 8 percent increase in the number of large trucks involved in deadly crashes compared to the previous year. The FMCSA defined large trucks as weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
Truck safety enforcement efforts in California and around the country will be stepped up for 72 hours beginning on June 6. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced on March 10 that the yearly International Roadcheck safety blitz would take place between June 6 and June 8, and trade journals revealed on March 13 that the nonprofit group has decided to make cargo safety the focus of this year's initiative. More than 9,000 commercial trucks were inspected during the International Roadcheck campaign in 2016.
Commercial truck drivers in California and the rest of the country who suffer from three or more medical conditions may be four times as likely to be in an accident. This is according to the findings of a study conducted at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
Prospective commercial truck drivers in California should be aware that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issue a notice on Feb. 1, 2017, that delayed the effective date of a new rule that establishes national standards for truck driver training. The delay is due to a Jan. 20, 2017, memo that was issued by the new presidential administration.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released guidelines to reduce distracted driving in California and across the United States. The agency recommends that cellphone manufacturers create a "driver mode" that blocks many of a phone's distracting functions when someone gets behind the whee of a car or truck.
For the past several years, law enforcement agencies in California and around the country have taken part in a week-long initiative known as Operation Safe Driver Week. The goal of the initiative, which the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have been organizing since 2007, is to reduce the number of accidents involving commercial vehicles, and the results of the 2016 effort were announced by the CVSA in a Dec. 7 press release.
California truck drivers may benefit from autonomous trucking technology in the future, but there are still some obstacles to overcome before widespread adoption can take place. State-based restrictions on autonomous driving technology may interfere with its national adoption since truckers utilize interstate highways. Individual state legislation could prevent truckers from delivering goods across state lines once AT technology becomes commercialized. This could jeopardize a company's ability to send goods across the country.
The November 2016 elections saw California residents vote to legalize the use of recreational marijuana by adults 21 and over. Three other states passed similar laws, but drivers in every state should note that federal trucking regulations regarding impairment were not affected by the vote. Driving under the influence of any recreational drug is still illegal, a fact that professional truck drivers should remain aware of, experts caution.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration places strict cutoffs for the amount of hours at a time commercial truck drivers can spend driving. The goal of these regulations is to protect road users in California and around the country from accidents caused by fatigued individuals who are in control of vehicles weighing 40 tons or more. The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association advocates on behalf of companies that transport oversize and heavy objects like huge industrial machines or construction equipment, and they recently asked the FMCSA to grant two exemptions to their hours-of-service rules.
Motor vehicle accidents on California highways can be particularly dangerous when they involve large commercial trucks. These vehicles are much bigger and heavier than passenger cars, and they are designed in a way that could allow passenger cars to roll beneath them. An underride truck accident occurs when a passenger car goes underneath a tractor-trailer from the back or side of the truck.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are seeking to limit the speeds at which large commercial vehicles can travel on highways. California drivers might want to be aware that the regulators would use electronic speed-limiting devices to enforce the cap on vehicles heavier than 26,000 pounds.
Many California motorists are injured or killed in accidents involving other passenger vehicles or commercial trucks. In order to help combat the problem, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has partnered with local law enforcement agencies to conduct Operation Safe Driver Week from Oct. 16 - 22.
California truck drivers as well as occupants of other vehicles may be safer on the roadways, thanks to a new technology that will help trucks evade rear-end crashes. Known as the Evasive Maneuver Assist system, it will make it possible for large trucks to detect and avoid smashing into the back of a stopped vehicle.
The federal government compiles statistics about every truck accident in California and the United States, releasing a report called the 'Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts" through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration every year. A study of the changes in truck accident statistics from 2013 to 2014 has identified an unusual statistical pattern. The number of fatal accidents declined substantially from the first year to the next. However, the number of truck accidents that caused non-fatal injuries increased dramatically over the same period of time.
The publication of new trucking regulations for truck drivers in California and around the country has been delayed. One would create a database of truck drivers who refused or failed a drug test and another would require heavy trucks to have speed limiters.
A California truck driver was charged with multiple offenses for operating his truck with a blood alcohol concentration of over seven times more than the legal limit for commercial drivers. The incident happened on March 21 in Illinois.
Commercial truck drivers in California and around the country are subject to federal regulations that prohibit them from operating their vehicles when they are fatigued. The lack of a truly objective test for fatigue has hindered efforts to measure the exact dimensions of the problem, and earlier attempts to impose a standard have been found to violate the drivers' Fourth Amendment rights.
A new federal rule designed to reduce commercial vehicle accidents will impact California truckers when it goes into effect in early 2016. It will require truckers and bus drivers to electronically record their hours instead of using the paper logs that have been required since 1938.
Nearly 10,000 trucks were put out of service for violations during a June 2015 inspection conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. California trucking companies and truck drivers are required to adhere to national safety standards. Brake and hours violations were two leading issues that took trucks out of commission. Brake adjustment issues accounted for 15.5 percent of the trucks inspected being put out of service.
Many drivers in California become anxious when they find themselves in close proximity to a semi-tractor trailer. These large commercial vehicles can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, and they can cause catastrophic accidents when driven recklessly. Shoddy truck maintenance also endangers other road users, and problems with semi braking systems are particularly hazardous. Trucking companies may face ruinous lawsuits if an accident is caused by defective brakes, but these risks can be mitigated by strictly following inspection and maintenance schedules.
California drivers are often extremely cautious when they encounter tractor-trailers hauling tanks of dangerous materials like gasoline, crude oil or other flammable cargo. While crashes involving any large commercial vehicle can cause catastrophic injuries, the threat of toxic spills, fires or explosions make accidents involving tanker trucks particularly dangerous. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than 1,300 trucks hauling cargo tanks are involved in rollover incidents each year around the country, and more than three quarters of these accidents involve some form of driver error.
California residents may be familiar with emerging automotive technologies that promise to improve road safety such as self-driving cars and accident avoidance systems, and the electronics manufacturer Samsung has been active in this area. The Korean company has developed a truck safety system that could make passing a semi-tractor trailer less nerve-wracking for drivers, and it has tested the new technology on some of Argentina's dangerous two-lane roads. Samsung chose Argentina because of the number of drivers who are killed or injured each year while attempting to pass large trucks.
Riverside County drivers are familiar with the danger posed by large trucks on California roads, due to the massive size of these vehicles. They may be interested in an article looking at some data on the causes and frequency of fatal truck accidents.
According to documents filed with the court, a San Juan Capistrano couple will receive $1 million in a settlement negotiated with a truck driver's estate and his employer. According to documents, the settlement resulted from a collision between the truck driver and a passenger vehicle on Jan. 12, 2012.
A crash occurred on southbound Highway 99 near Le Grand on Oct. 7, reportedly. According to the California Highway Patrol, the 2:15 p.m. crash involved a car and two big rigs.
On Sept. 19, one man died and three people suffered injuries in a Northern California accident involving two tractor-trailers, according to officials. The accident reportedly occurred at about 12:30 a.m. on Highway 299 in Round Mountain.