California has one of the busiest thoroughfares in the United States. In 2016, there were more than 14 million registered vehicles. About the same number are trucks that use its highways and public roads. The risks of truck accidents, therefore, are high. To learn more about this and what one needs to do, here are three essential questions:
How Common Are Truck Accidents in California?
It’s a lot more common than what people think. According to the information from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, no less than 4,000 big buses and trucks figured themselves in fatal crashes. It was about 2% higher than in 2015 and an almost 30% increase from 2009.
There was also a significant spike in fatalities and injuries. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, the deaths involving such vehicles went up by 6%. From 2015 to 2016, it also increased by over 25%. Injuries, meanwhile, went up by 62% in 2015. By 2016, there were already 119,000 trauma cases.
What Happens When a Person Meets a Truck Accident?
The first rule is to make sure all parties involved are safe and well. Attending to the emergency is, therefore, a must. The law states, though, that the driver involved in the accident or their representative needs to file a written report to the California Highway Patrol. They need to accomplish it within 24 hours if the accident resulted in a person’s injury or death or if the cost of damage to real property or another vehicle is no less than $750.
Anyone who figures themselves in such a situation can also benefit from the assistance of a truck accident lawyer in Los Angeles. These professionals can help the victims navigate the complicated world of insurance claims and other forms of compensation.
What Are the Common Causes of Injuries and Fatalities?
The same report pointed out some of the common reasons for fatalities. These include the following:
Speeding – Speeding is the number one cause of accidents and, subsequently, deaths for truck drivers. This can also partly explain why accidents involving these vehicles usually occur in rural areas and interstate highways.
This problem, though, is not confined to California only. A study by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed that it’s the leading cause of traffic fatalities in the United States.
Distraction and Inattention – The second common reason is distraction or inattention. Using smartphones and other mobile devices can fall into this category. Note, though, that there might be other factors that can affect focus, especially for truck drivers. Most of these individuals work long hours, and many types of research point out how fatigue can decrease agility, driving performance, and focus.
Impairment – Impairment can occur when a truck driver is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances that reduce their focus. The NTSB study, though, revealed there’s a strong connection between speeding and drunk driving. In other words, a person who is under the influence of alcohol will be also likely to violate the speed limit.
As the population and urbanization in California grow, the possibility of truck accidents is high. Knowing the common causes and the steps to take in case it happens can provide all parties involved the chance to curtail these situations.