Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
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Being on Alert for Truckers on Freeways of Sacramento

Personal injury attorneys know from experience that when a client comes to us with injuries from a Sacramento truck accident, the physical damages are likely significant. Our Sacramento accident attorneys point out that freeway driving does not present a level playing field for drivers in Sacramento. Our personal injury law attorneys note that trucks are often twenty or thirty times the weight of a passenger car. Accident attorneys add that trucks present other inequities such as their height – trapping cars beneath the behemoths in a Sacramento car crash. Consequently, attorneys say, in a big rig verses a Sacramento car accident, the motorist is usually the biggest loser.

Our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys will use this month’s blog to talk about the challenges both truckers and motorists face. We believe that mutual awareness may help prevent injurious or deadly truck verses car accidents. Our attorneys first want to point out that commercial drivers in general have a very good safety record across the nation and in Sacramento. But a car crash, attorneys say, is often so devastating that extra vigilance is called for by drivers in Sacramento.

Our personal injury law attorneys are well aware of the abundant truck traffic on the freeways surrounding Sacramento. Car accidents are, unfortunately, inevitable. And, according to statewide data, on the rise. Our personal injury attorneys report that in 2013 there were 278 deaths and 7511 injuries in truck verses car accidents. Attorneys say this is the highest number in four years. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reinforces the need for vigilance in the County of Sacramento. Personal injury attorneys say OTS data recorded 9,152 fatal and injury motoring accidents in 2012 in Sacramento. Our accident attorneys point out this is concerning because that ranks Sacramento the 7th worst out of 58 comparable counties.

Since trucking accidents are almost always serious and often fatal, special attention should be paid to freeway safety in Sacramento. Accidents, our attorneys believe, can be prevented, when all drivers follow traffic laws in Sacramento. Personal injury law attorneys report that, nationwide, about 5 million big rigs (trucks and buses) travel with 250 million motorists. On the freeways of Sacramento, our accident attorneys agree, there are times of the day when the ratio of trucks to cars seems much higher. According to statistics, Sacramento personal injury law attorneys say that truckers are responsible in fewer than half of the accidents in the County of Sacramento. In 191 truck accidents, attorneys report, 70 were attributed to the driver of the truck.

The Causes of Truck Accidents in Sacramento

Accident attorneys reference highway safety data to look at the primary causes of large truck accidents. Personal injury law attorneys say the main factors listed are truck driver fatigue, speeding and the limited braking capability of big rigs in car accidents. Our attorneys reiterate that commercial drivers do not cause the majority of car accidents. Our lawyers, however, know that some truckers falsify their handwritten work records and log more than the permitted 11 hours behind the wheel in Sacramento. Personal injury attorneys agree with national safety groups that suggest truckers keep electronic time logs that can’t be easily altered. Our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys are aware of local accidents over the past five years attributed to truck driver fatigue in the County of Sacramento. 

Accident attorneys understand that most people know it takes much longer for a trucker to brake to a stop than it does a passenger car. Our personal injury law attorneys say this is one reason why truck brakes must be carefully maintained to avoid a Sacramento accident. Attorneys explain that faulty brakes can cause a truck to roll over, causing a potential deadly car accident. Our injury lawyers say that the truck driver is also in grave danger in a roll-over accident in Sacramento. Personal injury law attorneys say that a new requirement for a stability control system takes effect in 2017. Our Sacramento car accident attorneys say this innovation is designed to reduce deadly truck and car crashes.

Making Trucking Safer for Sacramento
Personal injury attorneys say the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has information on trucking policy and safety. Along with supporting the enhanced stability system, our Sacramento car accident attorneys say the IIHS is looking at rear “underride guards” that are meant to prevent cars from sliding under trucks in an accident. Attorneys say that IIHS research is showing that these rear guards often fail. Our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys agree that federal regulators should look at the IIHS data and take corrective action to protect motorists from deadly truck accidents.

Our car accident attorneys believe that improperly maintained trucks and dangerous driver behaviors threaten highway safety in Sacramento. Personal injury law attorneys look at the data nationwide. In 2013, truck occupants accounted for 16 percent of deaths in truck verses car accidents. Attorneys compare that with the figure for motorists and others at a whopping 67 percent.
Our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys agree that trucking companies, traffic policy and truck drivers can all improve to lower the rate of accidents. But Sacramento accident attorneys also know that motorists must drive defensively throughout the County of Sacramento. Personal injury law attorneys remind drivers that our community hosts several highways that are corridors for trucking. In Sacramento, car accidents, attorneys say, have often resulted in fatalities. Consequently, our personal injury lawyers remind motorists to monitor surrounding big rig traffic. Be aware that IIHS identifies the main lapses of truckers that cause car accidents. Our attorneys report that improper turns, ignoring right-of-way and speeding seem to be the lead causes of truck verses car accidents.

Attorneys agree that highway safety is a shared responsibility. But it is good to keep in mind that from the perspective of our Sacramento personal injury law attorneys, the aftermath of a trucking accident can be physically and financially devastating. Consequently, our Sacramento accident lawyers urge heightened awareness of truck traffic in the County of Sacramento.