California State Troopers are still investigating why a semi-truck rear-ended a tour bus which was carrying 44 passengers who were heading to Denali National Park and Preserve. The accident, which shut down the highway for approximately three hours and spilled 200 to 300 gallons of fuel on the roadway, is under investigation by several agencies. The driver of the semi-truck and one of the tour bus passengers had to be airlifted from the scene due to injuries, but both have since been released. Ten passengers and the tour bus driver were also injured; however, they were treated and released from the hospital in the same day.
The number one cause of accidents involving semi-trucks is fatigued drivers, according to recent studies. While driver fatigue is a common cause of accidents, many drivers do not accept the blame for these crashes. These drivers often blame the companies for which they work, stating that they are under considerable pressure to get the cargo from point A to point B as quickly as possible.
Theoretically, driver fatigue should not be a problem. There are Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that limit the hours of service that drivers are allowed to log in a 24-hour period. However, some drivers as well as their employers have figured out ways around the restrictions or choose to ignore them and hope they are not stopped and their logged are not checked. This leads to very real dangers on the road.
Another issue to be considered is the experience of the driver. Driving costs are increasing every day, so many companies will hire individuals who have just graduated from a truck driving program because they can pay them less than the more experienced drivers. These companies may be hiring incompetent and unskilled drivers and failing to give appropriate training. The National Center for Statistics and Analysis advise more than 25 percent of truck drivers probably lack the training and experience necessary to handle the 10,000-pound vehicle they are driving. These same inexperienced drivers also lack the knowledge necessary to properly maintain their vehicles, resulting in equipment issues that the driver may not be able to control.
Accidents involving semi-trucks can have serious consequences due to the sheer weight of these vehicles compared to yours. Unfortunately, the largest number of victims in large truck accidents are in surrounding vehicles, not the trucks themselves.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving a semi-truck, contact the attorneys at the Amerio Law Firm in Roseville for a free consultation. Our attorneys will fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve.