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Sacramento Big Rig Accident Lawyer Warns of Reckless Truck Drivers

When driving through much of California, sharing the road with semi-trucks is a part of the ride. Normally, cars and trucks can coexist without incident, but semis have certain properties that make it more difficult for them to assimilate with standard passenger vehicle traffic. The size of semi trucks make them difficult to maneuver and increases the size of their blind spots.

The typical four-door car weighs about 4,000 lbs, while semis can weigh upwards of 80,000 lbs. Due to their enormous size, a semi traveling at 70 (the state speed limit of California) has twice the force potential of a truck traveling at 50 miles per hour. Since most commercial trucks run on a tight schedule, it is safe to assume they are traveling closer to 70 miles per hour when possible. A collision involving a semi truck can be catastrophic, with the potential to do great damage to a normal four-door car.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a trucking accident, speak with a Sacramento big rig accident lawyer immediately.

The Statistics

In 2009, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that one out of every 10 traffic fatalities in the United States was due to a collision involving a truck. Since over 30,000 die each year in all motor vehicle collisions, that means over 3,000 deaths are due each year to a collision with a truck.

In 2010, there were nearly 3,000 car accidents that involved a fatality in California alone. Commercial trucks were involved in over 200 of the fatal crashes, according to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

California is home to an extensive and complex market for freight movement. Semis travel up and down the coast and to and from California carrying an array of goods. The state of California houses many important distribution centers; the nation’s largest container port complex exists within the Los Angeles Metropolitan region. Speak with a Sacramento big rig accident lawyer if you have been injured from a semi-truck. You may be entitled to compensation.

According to the NHTSA, over a quarter of semi-truck drivers involved in a collision where at least one person died had at least one prior speeding conviction on his or her record. Car accidents caused by speeding are the most common type of reckless and negligent disregard. The injuries victims endure from a semi-truck hitting a passenger car are severe and can include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Fractured and broken bones
  • Organ damage,
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Causes of Big Rig Accidents

Even small mistakes can lead to fatal collisions. Truckers are often operating on very tight schedules with tight regulations regarding how long they can be on the road. For this reason they have a battle – should they stay on the road longer than they’re supposed to be and face sleep deprivation, or should they follow the rules on hours and go as quickly as they can? Sometimes, they do both. This is a deadly combination of a dull mind, slow response times, and high speeds.

Other causes for truck collisions relating to speeding and recklessness:

  • Unsafe lane changing
  • Failure to drive cautiously in poor weather
  • Disregard for narrow lanes or other construction
  • Following too closely

No life is ever worth acting negligently for the sake of profit. If a truck driver acted recklessly by speeding or breaking the rules, speak with a Sacramento big rig accident lawyer immediately to see what your best legal course of action is.

Trucker’s Have a Higher Level of Responsibility and Regulation

As truck drivers are on duty while behind the wheel and this duty naturally holds some danger, truckers are bound by tighter restrictions and a higher sense of responsibility than other drivers. A trucker’s license is subject to suspension and revocation based on behavior. Short of that, truckers accrue points on their licenses for various lesser offenses, such as speeding. The extent of the offense affects the points accrued:

  • General speeding: +2 points
  • 1-10 mph over: +3 points
  • 11-20 mph over: +4 points
  • 21-30 mph over: +6 points
  • 31-40 mph over: +8 points
  • More than 40 mph: +11 points

Other traffic violations such as failing to yield and reckless driving have the potential to increase the points on a trucker’s license. This is specifically regarding a commercial truck driver’s commercial license and is separate from a general license to drive. A serious driving offense could cause a trucker to lose his or her license if the behavior is repeated within three years of the initial offense:

  • Second offense: 60 day license suspension
  • Third offense: 120 day license suspension

In California, reckless driving is defined to be driving in a way that disregards the safety of others or other property. This leaves the law very open to interpretation and subjectivity.

Take Action With A Sacramento Big Rig Accident Lawyer Now

Have you been in a collision with a commercial semi-truck and believe the driver may have been acting recklessly or speeding? The most effective action you can take to help your chances of being compensated is to contact a knowledgeable and motivated Sacramento big rig accident lawyer who will act on your case swiftly.

Large trucking companies and their insurance companies are usually well-funded and will do most anything to avoid taking blame and compensating victims. Whatever you do, do not make a statement with any individuals representing the interests or insurance of the trucking company, as it may hurt your case and limit your compensation.

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