California’s scenic roadways can take you to all our beautiful state has to offer – unfortunately, they’re also congested and are often the site of dangerous truck accidents. According to an article published in the Sacramento Bee, as of 2016 Highway 99 in the Central Valley was rated as the deadliest major highway in the country. The 400-mile highway that runs through the centers of Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto and other valley cities recorded 62 fatal accidents per 100 miles over a recent five-year span. Highway 99 had 264 fatal accidents between 2011 and 2015 and many of these involve commercial motor carriers, produce trucks and big rigs. As residents of the San Joaquin and Central Valley know all too well, vehicle crashes involving commercial motor vehicles can lead to catastrophic and permanently disabling injury.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of life-altering injuries or has suffered the loss of a close relative or family member because of truck driver negligence or the conduct of a semi truck or big rig driver, contact the truck accident attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly, and Schoenberger to schedule a free case evaluation. Our firm will work to identify the parties responsible for your accident and help you receive full compensation for your material and immaterial losses.
Highway 99: Trends and Traffic Information
Highway 99 is one of Central Valley’s busiest roadways for truck traffic. Stretching nearly 425 miles, Highway 99 is the main thoroughfare for truck drivers and businesses looking to move manufactured goods or agricultural products north or south throughout the central region of California. It begins at the southern end of Interstate 5 and extends to the north, ending at SR 36 in Red Bluff. It serves several major California cities, including Bakersfield, Delano, Visalia, Tulare, Merced, Madera, Selma, Fresno, Stockton, Sacramento, Modesto, Turlock, Chico, and Yuba City.
The city of Fresno is the deadliest urban area on Highway 99, with 32 fatalities within the city limits. Many factors may influence the dangers on these roads – from congestion, weather effects, fog, driver fatigue, impairment by drugs and alcohol inattention and distracted driving.
Contributing Factors to Truck Accidents on Highway 99
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration governs the trucking industry. This organization sets strict guidelines that drivers and their employers must follow to enhance safety and prevent accidents. Unfortunately, not everyone follows these rules, increasing the likelihood of a truck accident.
The following often play a role in crashes involving commercial motor vehicles:
- Commercial truck driver fatigue and driver and inattention on Highway 99 are common. The roadway is long and straight drivers of big rigs often fall into a hypnotic state. Many times drivers will violate the maximum number of hours there permitted to drive and failed to keep an accurate logbook..
- Physical disabilities including obesity, sleep apnea, diabetes and other illnesses are common among long-haul truck drivers. The medications that may be taken to combat these illnesses are to try and defeat fatigue or sleepiness also contributed to accidents. Loading vehicles incorrectly producing vehicles that are difficult to steer are prone to rollover are also common. Ella
- Vehicle malfunctions. Due to their sheer weight and size, semi-trucks are prone to tire blowouts when their wheels are not at a correct pressure. Malfunctions from tire blowouts and brake tampering are another common cause of truck accidents.
Why You Need a Lawyer for a Highway 99 Truck Accident
Truck accidents are complex cases that require knowledge regarding Federal Motor Vehicle Carrier Safety Requirements, specialized accident reconstruction techniques, and understanding of the “black box” technology present on big rigs as well as an understanding of the satellite tracking systems that are used by many large national trucking companies. Big Rig and commercial hauling vehicle accident claims can become a matter of state and federal law, and may involve multiple layers of trucking companies, haulers, leasing companies and cargo shippers. In any case that involves major injuries or a fatality, it is critical that the injured claimants have skilled and experienced truck lawyers to properly represent them. A full and complete investigation is key to any successful big rig accident case.
For example, if you sustain injuries in a truck accident involving a blown tire, you may have a claim against the shipper, the hauler, the trucking company, the manufacturer of the blown tire, and potentially whatever private business service station or garage that may have been responsible for improper vehicle maintenance. The truck accident attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly, and Schoenberger conduct a thorough investigation into your trucking accident and determine the parties responsible for your injuries, so you can gain fair compensation for your losses.
If you or a loved one suffered harm in a trucking accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly, and Schoenberger for a free initial consultation today. We offer our services on a contingency-fee basis, so you won’t owe any legal fees unless we secure a court judgment or settlement on your behalf. Don’t pay for someone else’s negligence – review your legal options today.