Large trucks such as 18-wheelers are a common feature of California highways, and they are not going anywhere anytime soon. Although these trucks serve an important purpose in the moving and transporting of goods, they can also be quite dangerous. Truck accidents can be deadly, and many large trucks are manned by overworked drivers.
Tractor-trailers and other similarly large trucks can weigh as much as 30 times more than a standard passenger vehicle. Pair this difference of weight with underride guards that routinely fail to stop cars from sliding underneath trucks, and it is easy to see how most deaths between large trucks and smaller cars occur in the latter. Efforts are currently underway to improve the safety and efficacy of underride guards, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety demonstrated that these guards fail even in low-speed accidents.
Because of their weight, large trucks take much longer to brake than other vehicles. Braking time may be even longer if the roads are wet or other adverse conditions are present. For an alert driver, long braking time might be easy to handle. Unfortunately, many truck drivers remain behind the wheel for longer than the federally-permitted 11 hours. These drivers are typically fatigued and have slower response times than those who comply with hours-of-service regulations.
Losing a loved one in a crash is difficult under any circumstances. Many California families also deal with the financial implications of truck accidents while they attempt to navigate the grieving process. However, there is hope for those seeking justice for loved ones. Family members often choose to pursue wrongful death claims against the party or parties believed responsible, which can result in necessary financial compensation for documented monetary damages.