A family of three was killed recently when a runaway truck smashed into their home in central California. The truck driver was driving along state highway 154 in Santa Barbara and while merging his truck onto State Street, his brakes suddenly failed. He then proceeded to hit several parked cars and go over an embankment and finally hit the occupied home that had a young family living there, explains a California injury lawyer.
As the California Highway Patrol crash investigation team tries to reconstruct this accident, they did comment that alcohol was not a factor but that brake failure is suspected. The driver admitted that that the brakes were not working correctly when he picked up his load in Santa Ynez. The driver attempted to use all brake resources available; both hand and foot brakes but nothing could stop this truck.
Although many truck accident fatalities are caused by driver fatigue, a recent Department of Transportation (DOT) report found that 29.4% of large truck crashes occur due to brake failure. Another common truck accident cause is tire blowout due to worn tires or trucks not loaded properly.
When brakes malfunction and the driver’s behavior causes serious personal injury or in this case, wrongful death, who do you blame? Should the driver have fixed the issue instead of proceeding with his schedule? Was there a mechanical problem? Had maintenance been overlooked due to budget cut-backs and busy schedules? Was the mandatory brake pre-brake inspection performed?
Hiring the right California injury lawyer for counsel is advisable when you are struggling with specific truck industry issues and laws.
The trucking industry is a powerful organization; generating revenues of $610 billion per year, a figure that is set to double by 2015. Commercial trucking is here to stay but that means more cars must share the nation’s roads with even more trucks. Currently, one in eight traffic fatalities involve a trucking collision.
California is second only to Texas-which has the highest rate-in the number of truck fatalities that occur in the state each year. Investigations reveal that the primary causes of most truck accidents are fatigue and lack of sleep. In fact another runaway truck crash occurred in Northern California earlier this month and killed an innocent man. The CHP is still investigating with The Department of Transportation, DOT. Currently, they are investigating around 20 similar cases.
Clearly this is a situation that is not going away and needs to be resolved before more innocent people are tragically killed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the surviving relatives of these truck fatalities.
James Ballidis is a California injury lawyer specializing in truck accidents. He has written numerous articles on trucking accidents. To request a copy of one of his articles or to discuss a specific case, feel free to call 866-981-5596.