Los Angeles drivers face danger in truck accidents

Los Angeles motorists navigate what is certainly one of the most extensive and busiest roadway systems in the nation. With the volume of traffic, accidents are a plain and simple fact of daily life. Data from the California Highway Patrol recorded 161,094 injury accidents and a total of 2,520 fatal accidents in 2010 statewide.

Large trucks comprise a good number of vehicles on the roads and, as a result, are involved in many of the accidents. Of the total state injury accidents in 2010, 5,065 or 3.1 percent involved large trucks and of the total state fatal accidents that year, 8.5 percent involved large trucks. From personal injury to wrongful death, the range of consequences that can occur from motor vehicle accidents is great.

Large truck accident realities

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association's data shows that 9.5 percent of all fatalities in Los Angeles County in 2011 involved large trucks. In addition, state CHP information from 2010 shows the following about accidents in which truck drivers were found to be at fault:

  • There were 41 fatal large truck accidents
  • 20 of those 41 were caused by unsafe driving speeds
  • There were 2,156 injury accidents
  • 913 or 42.35 percent of those were caused by unsafe driving speeds
  • Improper turning or unsafe lane changes were other common causes of fatal or injury accidents

Clearly the danger associated with truck accidents is real and should make all vehicle drivers be aware and alert when sharing the road with big trucks.

New federal truck driver regulations

Beginning July 1, 2013, truckers in California and nationwide were subject to amended work week laws intended to improve truck driver safety by reducing fatigue.

A driver is allowed to work a maximum of 70 hours in a given work period and must record at least a 34-hour break. The break is required to span two periods of 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. For every eight hours worked, a minimum 30-minute rest is required and, while truckers can work up to 14 hours in one day, only up to 11 of those can be actual driving hours.

It is the estimation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that 560 injuries and 19 deaths per year will be prevented due to the implementation of these new laws.

Get help when involved in an accident

Certainly, the first and foremost priority if you are involved in an accident of any sort is to attend to any injuries and provide care as needed. As soon as possible thereafter, however, it is always advisable to meet with an attorney when an accident involves a large commercial truck. You will want to ensure that you have someone on your side that knows the laws and knows how to ensure your fair compensation.