Accidents involving large trucks and buses kill nearly 5,000 people across the U.S. each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Sadly, most of these crashes could have been avoided if drivers and other responsible parties took precautions to keep themselves and others safe.
If you were injured in a Sacramento truck accident, you might be entitled to significant compensation. Demas Law Group is here to help you go after it. We’re dedicated to holding truckers and trucking companies responsible when their reckless actions harm innocent people.
For over 25 years, we’ve been helping injured people across the Sacramento area seek the justice and maximum compensation they deserve after serious accidents caused by no fault of their own. We want to do the same for you. If you were injured in a truck collision that was not your fault, contact Demas Law Group today. We’re ready to fight for your rights and help you get on the road to recovery.
Contact us by phone or chat with us online to schedule your free consultation.
What Types of Trucks Are Often Involved in Serious Crashes?
Some of the types of trucks and other large vehicles that are most commonly involved in significant collisions include:
- Delivery vehicles. There have always been delivery trucks to bring customers everything from food to milk to packages, but the rise in online shopping has brought even more of these vehicles onto the road. Beyond the U.S. postal service, the road is now filled with FedEx and UPS delivery trucks, in addition to Amazon’s own delivery service vehicles and others. Each of these truck drivers is typically under tight deadlines and pressure to get customers their orders on or before the promised delivery time.
- Big rigs. These types of trucks include tractor-trailers, semis, and 18-wheelers, which take large shipments of cargo across long distances, such as from a port to another state. Drivers often log long hours to make sure the cargo gets to its destination on time, so they might drive at night or in all types of dangerous weather and road conditions. They are the large trucks are vulnerable to catastrophic accidents like rollovers and jackknifing on the open highway. You might also encounter them on narrow side streets and neighborhoods, where they must navigate awkward turns to deliver their cargo at stores and other businesses.
- Buses. School buses, city buses, tour buses, commercial transporters like Greyhound, and chartered buses for businesses and other groups carry large groups of people across the city, state, and country. They have a duty not only to their passengers but also to everyone else on the road. California law even has a special section for these types of vehicles that calls out how important it is for buses to use “utmost care and diligence” on the road. Unfortunately, they might face a range of distractions from passengers to mechanical failures that can lead to tragic accidents.
- Fuel and tanker trucks. The cargo these trucks carry is often highly flammable, which makes the vehicles susceptible to dangerous wrecks. If a tanker truck is in a collision, it might catch fire or explode, leading to a catastrophic situation for the driver and any nearby vehicles. It’s vital to drive carefully around tanker trucks and to stay away from collisions involving these vehicles as much as possible.
- Farm equipment. Some of the most common types of farm vehicles on the main highways are those that transport live animals like chickens, cattle, and horses. They might drive unusually slowly because they are large and bulky, plus they have a duty to get their live cargo to its destination safely. Farm equipment on other roads, including side roads or state highways, might include tractors and other vehicles for farm operations like harvesting. These vehicles typically don’t have the capability to drive at high speeds, so other drivers might be tempted to pass them in unsafe areas, leading to accidents.
- Dump trucks and other waste disposal vehicles. Residential garbage trucks are one of the most common types of dump trucks, but there are also a variety of waste disposal vehicles that carry dumpsters and other refuse from places like construction sites. Oftentimes, the waste in these vehicles might be loose or unstable, which can cause the cargo to hit other vehicles on the road or can cause the vehicle to tip over on turns.
- Flatbed trucks. These trucks are used to carry bulky cargo, such as other vehicles, large pipes, logs, and heavy equipment. While it can be interesting to look at the cargo that these vehicles carry, drivers should use extra caution around flatbeds. If any of this cargo isn’t secured properly or if it’s unevenly loaded, it can lead to major accidents.
- Emergency vehicles. It’s, unfortunately, not uncommon for fire trucks, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles to get into an accident while trying to get to an emergency. Even though they turn on their lights and sirens to warn other drivers, it can still be difficult to know where they are going. They often drive quickly, run red lights, and might drive on the shoulder, in between vehicles, or on the wrong side of the road.
While other drivers on the road must pay attention and give emergency vehicles the right-of-way, drivers of emergency vehicles also have a duty to protect others on the road, so they don’t mistakenly cause another emergency situation.
How Can Truck Accidents Be Avoided?
Since trucks are often so much bigger than other vehicles, they can cause significant damage and life-threatening injuries. Thankfully, many of the most common causes of these types of crashes can be avoided, such as:
- Drunk driving
- Texting, talking on the phone, and other types of distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Unlicensed or improperly trained drivers
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Dangerous road conditions like unmarked hazards and construction
- Mechanical failures
- Defective equipment and parts
- Loose, uneven, or overly loaded cargo
- Poorly maintained vehicles
- Driver errors like mistakenly hitting the wrong pedal
While you can’t control other drivers’ actions, there are some steps you can take to help prevent collisions and protect yourself when you’re driving near trucks, such as:
- Prepare for your trip. Leave with plenty of time to get to your destination, so you aren’t tempted to speed or drive recklessly. Trucks often can’t drive as fast as passenger vehicles, so it can be frustrating to get stuck behind one when you’re running late. However, when drivers cut in front of trucks and take other aggressive actions, they put themselves and everyone else on the road at risk.
Plan to get a ride from a friend or hire a taxi if you’re planning on drinking while you’re out, you’re on medication that you’re not used to, or you haven’t gotten enough sleep. Your chances of getting into a serious accident significantly increase anytime you drive while you’re under the influence or significantly fatigued.
- Maintain your distance. It’s critical to maintain a longer distance than usual when you’re driving around trucks. They have large blind spots on all sides of the vehicles, which means that they can mistakenly hit you when they’re turning, changing lanes, or trying to merge. Try to avoid driving in the truck’s “no zone” or passing them when they have their turn signals on.
Additionally, it’s difficult for trucks to brake quickly because they are so heavy. If you swerve or turn in front of them suddenly, they might not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting you. If you follow too closely behind a truck, then your car might end up going underneath the truck in a terrifying underride accident.
Who’s Responsible for a Truck Crash?
Multiple different parties might be liable in a truck collision, including:
- The truck driver
- The trucker’s employer
- Other drivers on the road
- The owner of the truck or its cargo
- The company that loaded the cargo
- The truck’s manufacturer
- The company that maintains or repairs the vehicle
- Government agencies if dangerous road conditions contributed to the crash
Victims of truck crashes often find it difficult to get fair compensation because so many different people and companies might be liable for the crash. Oftentimes, each party tries to pass the blame to someone else to avoid paying for your injuries and damages.
However, an experienced truck accident attorney can help you determine which parties are liable for your accident, and they can use their skills and resource to hold these responsible parties accountable for the harm they’ve caused you.
Contact Demas Law Group for Help After a Truck Accident
Don’t hesitate to get the help you need following a truck accident in Sacramento or surrounding areas. We’ll take care of every step of your case so that you can focus on healing and your family.
To get started today, contact the knowledgeable and compassionate Sacramento truck collision attorneys at Demas Law Group to schedule a free consultation. Contact us right away by phone or chat with us online.