What make trucks stand out in California roads is their massive size and weight. However, they often pose significant dangers, especially to other road users such as drivers and passengers. Just imagine a tractor-trailer jackknifing on an interstate highway. That alone can cause a vehicle collision involving a lot of vehicles. The thought of damaged vehicles and passenger vehicle occupants getting either injured or killed is truly horrifying. The cost of this kind of accident amount to millions of dollars, but that is nothing compared to the lives of the people that have been altered or lost, which is definitely immeasurable. Indeed, mishaps involving trucks, regardless of their impact and severity, are some of the most gruesome and deadly forms of motor vehicle accidents that occur not just in California, but also in the whole nation.
Passenger vehicle occupants more at risk
Yearly statistical data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have shown a continuous trend with regard to truck accident deaths. Here, it is not the truckers who are highly at risk of getting injured or killed in these mishaps, but rather those who are driving and riding passenger vehicles. One of the reasons for this is due to the huge size difference of both trucks and passenger vehicles such as cars, SUVs, and other lighter, smaller-framed ones. A semi-truck colliding with an SUV would definitely cause the latter to sustain heavy damage, not to mention serious injuries or deaths to those inside the vehicle.
Also, the large trucks that roam the interstate highways of California are mostly for commercial use. In a collision, however, there is also the likelihood of the large vehicle to spill its cargo upon impact. Thus, it further compounds the risk of other drivers and passengers to get seriously injured or killed, especially if the truck is carrying hazardous substances. They may sustain burns, respiratory sickness, or any other serious injury apart from the physical harm sustained in the accident itself.
Unsafe driving practices
There are a lot of reasons why car-truck collisions occur, and it can be attributed to some practices of unsafe driving on the part of truckers, these include the following:
- • Driving out of the designate truck lanes
- • Driving despite inclement weather conditions
- • Driving in an aggressive manner
- • Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- • Not yielding for other vehicles, especially at intersections
- • Driving while not maintaining a safe distance (tailgating)
Injured drivers, passengers are entitled to damages
The threat is always there when drivers and passengers encounter large trucks down the road. Therefore, it is very important for them to exercise caution whenever they travel on interstate highways and other main thoroughfares.
Meanwhile, if you or your loved one was involved in a truck mishap, you must know that you can make the responsible parties pay for what happened to you. As a victim of a car-truck collision, you are entitled to recover monetary compensation for the damages and other losses you incurred. Thus, it is important that you seek the expertise of truck accident lawyers so that you can enhance your chance of getting compensated for your injuries and for your lost income and other pain and suffering damages.