Nearly 70 percent of the goods in this country are transported by commercial vehicles. It comes as no surprise then that the risks posed by a tired trucker to California travelers are incalculable. Due to the sheer size of these tractor-trailers, victims who are involved in a crash with one of them often suffer life-changing injuries. Those who are harmed may have a basis for filing a personal injury claim.
A comprehensive truck crash study was conducted over several years to determine the main factors involved in a commercial vehicle accident. Data for the study was gleaned from eyewitness accounts, police reports, driver interviews and evidence from crash scenes. Researchers found that driver fatigue was a common factor in a large percentage of the wrecks. The study found that there were 19 factors that appeared most frequently, and of those, 15 were the result of driver errors.
A majority of drivers work long hours, and the stress of deadlines contribute to their mental and physical exhaustion. Drivers who are tired or ill are more inclined to make errors in judgment relating to speed, traffic conditions, poor weather conditions and unfamiliarity with a route. In addition, distractions both inside the vehicle and out also play a role in these often deadly wrecks. Over the course of nearly three years, an estimated 12,000 crashes were reported. Of those crashes, approximately 249 people died, and more than 1,650 victims suffered injuries.
In spite of the efforts of both the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the numbers of commercial vehicle crashes has increased over the past several years. While there is new technology that may help reduce some of these tragic accidents, not every wreck will be prevented. California victims who have been injured in these types of horrific crashes often sustain enormous financial damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide assistance in assembling a successful case in order to recover documented losses.