The number of deadly accidents involving semi-tractor trailers rose sharply in California and around the country in 2017 according to data gathered by the National Safety Council, and many of these crashes were caused by truck drivers who were distracted, fatigued or impaired. Road safety advocates have long lauded the merits of automatic emergency braking systems, and a bill currently before the House of Representatives Highways and Transit Subcommittee would make the technology mandatory equipment on all commercial vehicles in the United States.
First responders in California and nationwide are at an increased risk of dying in accidents caused by distracted driving, according to a new survey. In 2019, at least 16 emergency workers have been killed by vehicles across the country.
Commercial truck and bus drivers in California will want to keep in mind that between June 4 and 6, they may be stopped at random for an inspection. This is because the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is holding its annual International Roadcheck at that time. The spree will consist of mostly Level I inspections, which cover both driver and vehicle regulations.
The number of pedestrian deaths in the United States rose to its highest number in 28 years in 2018. Pedestrian deaths are taking place in California and throughout the country in part because of distractions caused by smartphones. Researchers say that there could be a link between smartphone sales since 2009 and pedestrian deaths. Alcohol was also a key factor in about half of the accidents that resulted in a pedestrian's death.
Deadly truck accidents in California and around the country have increased worryingly over the last three years according to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The agency's chief safety officer said at the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting that tractor-trailer occupant fatalities, work zone accidents involving commercial vehicles and truck and bus crash fatalities had all risen in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
People in California and across the country are urging members of Congress to act on proposed legislation that aims to reduce the number of deadly underride truck accidents. In an underride crash, a car slides and is captured underneath a semi-trailer or other large commercial truck. These collisions are often fatal because the underride can lead to severe head and neck injuries, including decapitation. Each year, hundreds of people lose their lives in these types of crashes. These accidents can be catastrophic even at relatively low rates of speed.
In California and the rest of the U.S., pedestrian fatalities have sharply increased over the past decade even though cars have become safer. Experts attribute this increase in pedestrian deaths to the problem of driver distraction.
According to a study from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, unsafe driving behavior is to blame for 88 percent of crashes involving passenger vehicles and 93 percent of crashes involving large trucks. Whether in California or in some other state, unsafe driving is the leading cause of all highway crashes.
Civil law in California grants the victims of truck accidents the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, going through the civil court can cost victims a considerable amount of time and money, which is why many try instead to settle out of court. In most cases, trucking companies are willing to go this route too, which means that there is a greater chance for an amicable agreement.
In California, truck accidents are a far more frequent occurrence than they should be, especially as truck drivers are under immense pressure to get their products to their final destination on time. This pressure and the strict time limits can cause some truck drivers to engage in risky and even illegal behaviors, including violating the hours of service rules. However, if a truck driver does cause an accident, the carriers, shippers and brokers also could potentially be held liable.