Because they are so much bigger and heavier than other vehicles on the road, large trucks are potentially more dangerous than passenger cars. An accident that might be relatively minor if had happened between two sedans can easily lead to serious injury or fatalities if one of the vehicles is a semitrailer.
A previous post here talked about how many truckers who drive around or just pass through Orange County, California, are required under the law to, from time to time, pull off of the road for a few hours and take a rest. The idea behind these rules is to make sure drivers get the sleep they need so that they don't experience truck driver fatigue.
US Highway 101, commonly known as the Pacific Coast Highway, is one of the relatively few freeways in the country that can rightly be called a popular tourist destination. Heading through coastal Southern California up all the way to border and beyond, the highway includes beautiful ocean views and scenic mountain passes.
Most people in Costa Mesa and other parts of Orange County probably are aware that a person who has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more is legally drunk. If that person chooses to drive, he or she faces the possibility of criminal penalties and is also on a practical level, putting other motorists in danger.
According to a recent report, a man who was trapped in his passenger vehicle under the weight of a cement truck has, at least to this point, survived the affair. This accident happened in the Los Angeles area. According to the reports, it took police well over half an hour to get the man out of his vehicle after the accident. They first had to lift the front of the cement truck off of the sedan and then cut the roof off the man's car. He was reportedly pinned by the dash of his car, but remained responsive throughout the rescue. He was hospitalized, and his condition is not known.
A previous post on this blog discussed how mediation can be a good way for victims of truck accidents to resolve their claims against a negligent truck driver, that driver's employer and the respective insurance companies involved.
Following a serious California truck accident, and as our blog has discussed on previous occasions, the goal is for the victim to get the compensation he or she needs to pay past and future bills related to the accident and to move on with their life. Moreover, a victim will often deserve at least some compensation for their pain and suffering and other non-economic injuries.
Anecdotally, it is easy to understand how after a serious accident involving a large truck, the occupants of a passenger vehicle get the worst of the accident's aftermath. The sheer difference in size between a car and a truck make it much more likely, just a matter of physics, that the car will be crushed or seriously damaged and the occupants hurt or killed.
Trucks that travel throughout California are subject to legal weight limits on how much they can haul at one time. It is up to truck drivers and their companies to know what these limits are and to make sure that their loads fall under them. But, they can receive special permission to transport heavier items.
In a story that garnered the attention of the national news media, five people died in a truck accident on Interstate 10 that left both sides of the highway closed for hours and the truck involved in the accident consumed in flames. The accident happened near Railto, a California city about an hour east of the Los Angeles area.