Truck accidents claim the lives of hundreds of Californians each year and cause disabling and serious injuries to many more. Traffic fatality estimates released by the National Safety Council, a nonprofit organization that works closely with federal auto-safety regulators indicates 40,200 people died in accidents involving motor vehicles in 2016, a 6 percent rise from the year before. According to the California Highway Patrol, 290 residents died in accidents involving commercial motor vehicles in 2015. If you or a loved one have sustained life-changing physical or brain injuries in a truck versus automobile or truck versus pedestrian collision you need a skilled truck accident lawyer at the Walkup Law Firm. If you or a family member suffered serious injuries from an accident involving a large truck, the truck accident attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly, and Schoenberger can help. Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation today. Let us hold the negligent parties accountable and help you receive fair compensation for your material and immaterial losses.
Major Sacramento Roadways and Trucking Information
As the capital of California, Sacramento is a bustling city that’s home to the intersection of multiple major state and interstate highways. Interstate 80, is one of the longest routes in the country, connects Sacramento to San Francisco and Reno, Denver, Salt Lake and the East Coast. Interstate 80 is the main roadway for long-haul and short-haul truckers. Other major highways that intersected Sacramento in connection trucking routes across the country include:
- Interstate 5, which connects truckers to destinations from Los Angeles through the Central Valley, to Sacramento, Reading, Red Bluff, Portland and Seattle
- Highway 99, which travels down the center of the state, and has heavy truck traffic, connecting Southern California with the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys
- S. Highway 50, which heads to South Lake Tahoe, and goes all the way to Ocean City, MD
- Business 80, which runs through the city and reconnects to the interstate on the western border.
Independent truck drivers and large trucking companies use all of Californians major freeways and state highways including I-80, I-50, Highway 99 and Interstate 5 to transport goods throughout the entire country. However, since California transports 88% of its total manufactured tonnage within the state, many owner-operators and other drivers often rely on smaller, statewide routes and freeways for travel. The high speeds of these roadways, coupled with a truck’s sheer size and weight, contributes to literally hundreds of injury-producing truck versus automobile accidents each year.
California Tonnage and Size Limits
California allows trucks with a gross weight of 80,000 pounds on many of the Sacramento Valley area roadways. The Surface Transportation Assistance Act dictates the largest trucks that can be in operation in California. Under these rules, a semi-trailer can be up to 53 feet long, but there is no overall length limit.
Various Factors Involved in Sacramento Truck Accidents
Truck accidents in the state of California have certain contributing factors that are consistently found by police and highway patrolman according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):
- Driver error and driver fatigue are at the top of the list for major serious injury and fatal truck accidents. Driver fatigue and driver error account for the majority of trucking accidents. Distracted driving, speeding, inattention, driving outside of permitted hours, driving without adequate sleep, and driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol had the list of causes.
- Improper loading. Overloading long and short-haul trucks, or loading rigs in a way which causes them to be out of balance and difficult to steer or control regularly produces major collisions and rollovers. Due to their sheer weight and size, loaders of commercial motor vehicles must exercise diligence and distribute the weight of the load properly. Failure to do so can cause a driver to lose control of a vehicle.
- Poor tires, poor breaks, vehicles out of adjustment and out of specifications as the result of a failure to undertake required maintenance is also a frequent cause of major truck related injury collisions. Federal law requires truck drivers and their employers to complete comprehensive checks of a truck’s equipment – brakes, tires, and other important safety features must undergo routine maintenance to prevent a malfunction. Failure to complete these checks can result in a devastating accident.
What Are My Next Steps After a Truck Accident in Sacramento?
Victims of Sacramento area truck accidents often sustain serious, permanently disabling, and life-threatening injuries. The aftermath of an accident can prove devastating – victims often are disabled for life, or if they are able to return to work, miss long periods of work, or may be unable to return to their profession at all. The financial consequences of medical bills and lost wages take their toll and cause families to lose homes, property, and savings.
If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries in a truck accident, your next steps will have a huge impact on your future. Contact the Sacramento truck accident attorneys at Walkup Melodia, Kelly, and Schoenberger to schedule a free initial consultation with our firm. We hold trucking companies accountable and demand fair compensation for the full extent of your injuries, pain, and suffering. Call us to review your legal options today.