Accidents involving trucks are occurring all too often in the United States and have become a serious problem in the state of California. Semi-trucks are involved in thousands of fatal crashes across the country each year, as well being the cause of devastating traumatic injuries – changing the lives of countless people forever. Timing after a truck accident is everything and If you or someone close to you have been involved in a truck accident in California, there are several steps one should take in order to protect your best interests.
Seek medical attention. Even if you don’t suspect your injuries to be serious, it is essential that you seek a medical provider for examination as soon as possible after the accident. Injuries from truck accidents may not manifest themselves immediately at the scene of the accident, so it is always best to make sure that you are unharmed.
Initiating an investigation. Evidence from truck accidents is usually cleared up quickly. Have an expert survey the site and collect any pieces of information that could possible help you form a strong case against the negligent truck driver.
Take photographs. Soon after the accident, take pictures of your injuries and of your damaged vehicle and avoid throwing away any evidence. Although you may think that a smashed cellphone or damaged or torn up clothing are worthless after an accident, they could prove to be invaluable evidence in your case.
Contact a Qualified and Necessary Legal Counsel. It is essential that you do not provide insurance carriers with a recorded statement before you have been consulted by a California truck accident attorney. Insurance carriers, while they may outwardly seem like they are trying to help you, may in fact be trying to limit your claim. If you don’t already have an attorney who specializes in truck accidents on your side, contact one today.
Many people don’t realize just how dangerous trucks are on the Americans roads – With these machines weighing up to 80,000 pounds or more, doubling in danger when carrying hazardous cargo.
Did you know?
The US department of transportation has listed the trucking industry as being on of the highest in receiving billions of dollars in annual revenue.
Top 5 Trucking Companies by revenue are:
- The United Parcel Service – $21,339,874
- FedEx Ground – 3,912,000
- Schneider National – 2,905,000
- Roadway Express, Inc. – 2,844,214
- Yellow Transportation Inc. – 2,788,078
So what’s in the cargo?
The Top Industry Goods transported by truck are:
- Agricultural Products 0 82.7%
- Dairy, Fruit, Vegetables, and Nuts – 92%
- Pharmaceutical Products – 65%
- Lumber and Wood Products – 91.9%
As the trucking industry continues to grow at a tremendous pace so does its workforce rise accordingly. According to Truckinginfo.org, the trucking industry employs
- 8.9 million people
- Nearly 3.5 million of these employees are truck drivers
- Of this figure, 60,000 operate in the UPS and 9% are owner operators
- An estimated 15.5 million trucks operate in the United States.
How safe are these mega machines?
The Top 5 percentage of mechanical problems with trucks as reported by roadside assistance are:
- Tires – 51.3%
- Jump or Pull Start – 7.6%
- Air Line or Hore – 4.7%
- Alternator – 4.1%
- Wiring – 3.9%
In 2013, multiple vehicle crashes resulted in injuries to:
- 7,000 large truck drivers
- 52,000 motor vehicle drivers
- 4,000 truck passengers
In the same year, large trucks were involved in approximately 338,000 crashes
- 3,906 fatal crashes
- 73,000 crashed caused injuries
- 265,000 crashes caused property damage
This is a huge concern for those of us driving ordinary cars and trucks on the road, as we are at an increasing risk as the number of big trucks gets larger and larger with escalating industry.
The highest states of recorded truck accidents in the last 10 years have been:
So what about the people behind the wheel?
The leading causes of Semi Truck accidents in the US:
- 26% prescription drug use
- 23% traveling too fast
- 17% over the counter drugs
- 13% fatigue
- 8% alcohol
- 3% illegal drugs
When are we most at risk?
The Automobile Club of Southern California estimates about 7.3 million people in Southern California will travel at least 50 miles during the Christmas holidays of 2012. Part of this increase is attributable to the decrease in gas prices occurring over recent months. The holidays are also busy for tow truck drivers, according to a spokesman for the California Tow Truck Association.
- 84% of fatal truck accidents occur on weekdays
- 64% of fatal truck crashes occurred on rural roads
- 5% occurred on interstate highways
CHP reported 14 traffic fatalities and 980 arrests within the three-day period of maximum enforcement during the 2011 Christmas holidays.