Did you know that the average 18-wheeler you share Southern California's roads with can weigh up to 80,000 pounds? That's a max weight of 40 tons. To put that into perspective, passenger vehicles ranging from small cars to pickup trucks weigh between averages of approximately 1.5 tons to around 2.5 tons.
You probably didn't need that information to know that when a passenger vehicle goes up against a big rig, the smaller vehicle usually loses. In fact, the injuries are often catastrophic. If you recently survived such a crash or lost a loved one to one, you may want to better understand the common causes of these crashes in order to gather evidence of the truck driver's negligence.
What usually leads to a truck vs. passenger vehicle accident?
Most of these crashes occur for similar reasons. Below are the most common of them:
- Some truck drivers don't receive an hourly wage but, instead, earn per load. This often causes them to drive at excessive speeds in order to get to the next load faster.
- Truck drivers' work schedules may include long hours and flexible schedules, and they may only pull over to sleep when they have to. What they may not know is that driving fatigued presents the same dangers as when someone drives under the influence.
- Speaking of which, some truck drivers will get behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs. This obviously presents a significant danger to anyone else on the road.
- Truck drivers are not immune to distractions, especially since they spend a majority of their day driving, which can get boring and monotonous after a while.
- Failing to account for the current weather conditions can also lead to serious accidents.
- If one has not loaded a truck properly, the cargo could fall onto the roadway. It could also change the truck's center of gravity and lead to a crash.
- Without proper maintenance and timely repairs, equipment on the truck can break down.
- With so much weight to support, brake malfunctions can cause a truly terrifying scenario for everyone involved.
If it turns out that your accident resulted from one of these common causes, you may be able to file a legal claim. If your evidence supports negligence on the part of the truck driver, the court could make an award of damages to help with your financial losses. Depending on the circumstances, you may even discover that more than just the driver bears legal liability for your injuries and other losses.