Severe weather is being blamed for a fatal Los Angeles truck accident that happened this past weekend. Reports explain that a big rig overturned on the northbound 5 Freeway in the Atwater Village area of Los Angeles, killing the truck’s driver. The accident, which occurred around 4 o’clock in the morning, blocked all four lanes of northbound traffic and created an even more dangerous environment for drivers.
Trucks are extremely large and heavy vehicles, often weighing 20-30 times more than other vehicles on the road. Trucks are not nearly as aerodynamic as other vehicles and often require very precise navigation. Since driving a truck is considerably more difficult than driving a traditional passenger vehicle, truck drivers must receive certain education, training, and licensing before they can get behind the wheel of a big rig.
During this licensing process truck drivers learn that:
- A large truck cannot stop on a dime and may require 20-40 percent more space to come to a complete stop than other cars;
- Trucks cannot move swiftly from lane to lane;
- Trucks have several blind spots that can make it difficult to see other traffic; and
- Driving a truck requires a lot of attention.
Drivers must commit all of their energy to focusing on the road in front of them. When drivers become distracted or fatigued they are more likely to cause a crash. When passenger vehicles are involved in accidents with large trucks, the occupants of those cars are more likely to suffer serious and fatal injuries. Statistics from 2015 showed that 73% of people injured in truck accidents were passengers in other vehicles. However, the recent Los Angeles truck accident is proof that truck drivers can still be harmed in a big rig accident.
Drivers Must Pay More Attention in Bad Weather
Weather can definitely make a tough situation worse. This is incredibly true for truck drivers, who already have a difficult enough time navigating a piece of heavy machinery through Los Angeles roads. When the weather’s bad, all drivers on the road must exercise additional care and caution. This means putting down the phone, settling on a single radio station, and keeping your eyes on the road. This also means following the speed limit (or driving a little bit under the limit), staying in a single lane, being alert and aware of other vehicles, and acting as a reasonable person would in the situation. Driving aggressively during bad weather will only increase the chances of being involved in a car accident.
Truck Driver Employers May Be Responsible For Accidents
Truck drivers are required by law to take a break from driving every 14 hours. This means that no matter where they are on their trek they must stop driving. Once they have stopped, truck drivers are generally required to stay off of the roads for no less than 10 hours. This regulation exists to make sure that fatigued and overworked truck drivers aren’t putting others at risk of harm on our freeways. Sometimes, truck drivers ignore these safety regulations and drive in violation of the law. In some cases, their employers have instructed them to keep driving, despite legal requirements to stop. Employers who put their drivers on the road in violation of safety standards can be held financially responsible if their drivers are involved in traffic accidents.
There are limited details about why the big rig truck crashed in Los Angeles last weekend. If, however, it is learned that the driver was instructed to drive more than 14 hours at a time, his family may be able to recover compensation from his employer. A wrongful death lawsuit could help them to recover much-needed financial compensation to:
- Pay for his funeral and burial costs;
- Make up for lost financial support; and
- Aid pain and suffering.
Los Angeles Truck Accident Attorneys
If you have a loved one who has been killed in a Los Angeles truck accident you may be entitled to compensation. The truck driver, truck company, or other drivers could potentially be held financially responsible for the unexpected loss of your loved one. You can learn more by calling the Los Angeles Accident Law Center today to schedule a free consultation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will review your case, determine liability, and answer the questions you have.