James E. Ballidis
Southern California saw multiple fatal truck accidents in the month of August: in the early morning hours of August 9, a Rancho Santa Margarita truck driver had a fatal heart attack while driving and crashed his semi on the I-15 near Barstow; on August 25, a runaway truck crashed into the home of a Santa Barbara family, killing three; and on August 28, a driver made an unsafe lane change on Highway 101 near Gilroy that caused his truck to swerve from the highway and crash, killing him. All three incidents, explains an Orange Country truck accident lawyer, were the result of causes common to truck driving accidents: fatigue, stroke, or heart attack; unsafe lane changes; and improper equipment maintenance or equipment failure.
In California, of the 8,600 truck accidents and 1,000 bus accidents recorded in a study by the National Transportation Safety Board in 2008, 318 resulted in fatalities. The causes of the accidents were placed in three categories: truck driver related, equipment related, and non-truck-driver related. Truck drivers caused more than 50% of the recorded accidents. The most frequent truck-driver-related causes included the use of prescription drugs, traveling at a speed greater than road conditions permit, unfamiliarity with the road, and fatigue or medical problems.
Driving defensively is an effective method for avoiding a collision with a truck driver, according to an Orange County truck accident lawyer. Keep your distance from large trucks: if a truck is traveling closely behind or in front of you, change lanes. Take additional precautions when attempting to pass a truck: swerving or speeding are indications that the driver may be impaired, so you may want to wait until the highway widens, allowing you to pass at a safe distance. Before passing, flash your lights and wait for the driver to blink his rear lights. Avoid truckers that are driving erratically, speeding, or swerving, as these may be indications that they are intoxicated or fatigued.
The Orange County truck accident lawyers at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis, and Leslie would like to offer their condolences to the families of the truck accident victims mentioned in this article. If they or anyone else who has been in a truck accident have questions about their rights and options, we are here for them. To speak with an Orange County truck accident lawyer call 866-981-5596.
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