A man was killed on March 23, 2017, after his car smashed into a big rig on the 101 Freeway. The truck had been parked along the shoulder of the road when the smaller vehicle crashed into it. In another incident, a man was killed on March 8, when his Ford F-150 veered into the opposite travel lane and crashed into a semi head on. These recent deaths highlight the dangers of big rigs in motor vehicle collisions, and the importance for vigilance and safety on the roadway.
Death Traps of the Los Angeles Freeways
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there are over 30,000 car crashes and 3,000 traffic fatalities every year in the state. Los Angeles is by far the most dangerous area of California for serious motor vehicle collisions. There is one 27-mile stretch of the I-710 Freeway that is notorious for accidents – in 2010, trucks were involved in nearly one-third of all car crashes here, and were found to be at fault in nearly half the collisions.
Study Reveals Major Factors of Large Truck Collisions
A comprehensive report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on the causes of serious crashes involving large trucks, identified fatigue, drinking alcohol, and speeding as major factors. Other crash influencers could occur in the days, weeks, and months prior to the crash – such as:
- inadequate or non-existent driver training
- insufficient driver experience
- vehicle manufacture problems
- poor vehicular maintenance
- highway conditions and signals
- weather conditions
The FMCSA report studied over 100,000 large truck crashes over a two year period, and revealed that the most common driver factors contributing to crashes were inattentiveness, being distracted, failure to observe the situation properly, as well as driving too fast for the conditions, misjudging the speed of other vehicles, and following other vehicles too closely. The number one factor for large trucks was brake problems, followed by interruption in traffic, prescription drug use, and traveling too fast. For crashes specifically involving large trucks and passenger vehicles, the most common causes were interruption of traffic flow, unfamiliarity with roadway, inadequate observation, and driving too fast for conditions.
Deadly Nature of Large Truck Crashes
Collisions with large trucks are also much more deadly than with other passenger cars. This is due to their sheer size and weight, and the massive force and momentum they generate, often irrespective of the truck’s speed. When a tire comes off of a semi-truck it can have devastating consequences for numerous vehicles, and often occurs without the driver of the truck even being aware. Truck drivers are often over-worked, given unrealistic demands, and their trucks are often not properly maintained.
Large Truck Collisions on the Rise
Crashes with large trucks are indeed on the rise, and measures are being taken to combat the problem, including mandating of stability control, better traffic enforcement, and tighter regulations. If you are on the roadway in Los Angeles, it is imperative to be aware of these dangers.
Call Fox & Fox Today
If you or someone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle collision with a large truck, as a result of the negligence or reckless conduct of another, you may be entitled to significant compensation. This can include recovery for injuries, lost wages or earning capacity, pain and suffering, and property damage.
The personal injury attorneys at Fox & Fox have the experience and expertise needed to examine your case and help get you the recovery you deserve. A car crash with a large vehicle is a devastating enough experience. You don’t need to continue to suffer afterwards through lost earnings, pain and suffering, hospital and medical bills, without receiving the compensation to which you are entitled.
We invite you to call us today to arrange a free initial consultation at (818) 986-4494.