Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving the Stockton and Petaluma California Regions
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Truckers Traverse the State Via our Busy Freeway

As residents of Petaluma, our personal injury law attorneys are aware of heavy, big-rig traffic that travels Highway 101 through Petaluma. Car accident attorneys deal closely with the victims of crashes involving commercial trucks and know that physical car crash injuries are usually very severe. We also know that motorists are generally on the losing end of a truck collision in Petaluma. Personal injury law attorneys remind motorists that big-rigs are as much as 30 times the weight of a car. Other factors that tip the scales include the height of many trucks, according to Petaluma car accident attorneys at Sette Law. Cars can be wedged beneath semi-truck trailers, causing grave injury to Petaluma car accident victims. Attorneys believe that both motorists and truckers could be much safer if drivers exercised more caution and better judgment on the roadways of Petaluma. Personal injury law attorneys report that there are about 5 million big-rigs and buses sharing the roads with 250 million noncommercial vehicles.

Our personal injury law attorneys dedicate this month’s blog to looking more closely at what causes trucking accidents and how they can be avoided in Petaluma. Our car accident lawyers know that truckers face special challenges as drivers of big-rigs. As personal injury attorneys it’s our business to know the statistics related to Petaluma car accidents. Our lawyers, for example, report that professional truck drivers actually have a good safety record nationally and in Petaluma. But personal injury attorneys caution that when car verses big-rig accidents happen, the most severe injuries are inflicted on motorists. The sheer size and force of big-rig trucks, Petaluma car crash attorneys admit, makes motorists highly vulnerable to death or grave injury in a car accident.

Attorneys know that, given the amount of traffic on the 101 and other roadways around Petaluma it’s inevitable that there will be car accidents. Our attorneys add that data from the State Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) indicates that trucking accidents are on the rise. In 2013 OTS reported 278 statewide fatalities and more than 7,500 injury car accidents. Lawyers cite this as the highest number in the past four years. Our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys feel that it’s time to alert motorists to the need for heightened vigilance. OTS statistics also track which driver is at fault in truck verses car accidents. Our attorneys say that, most often, it’s the motorist’s behavior that leads to the Petaluma car crash.  However, lawyers add that truckers also employ poor judgement and driving habits that lead to Petaluma car crash injuries.

Attorneys Look at Technology to Prevent Fatal Car Accidents

Attorneys say that government agencies and professional associations track data regarding truck verses car accidents. Fatigue, attorneys report, is among the top reasons that truckers cause serious car accidents. Personal injury law attorneys add that trucker braking-distance and excessive speed are other factors that contribute to Petaluma car accidents. Attorneys report that truckers are limited to eleven hours of driving per day. Drivers record their hours in written logs. Our personal injury lawyers say that handwritten records can easily be changed, allowing fatigued truckers on the roadways of Petaluma. Car accident attorneys say that safety groups are advocating for an electronic time management system to prevent drowsy driving that can lead to deadly car accidents. Again, attorneys point out that it’s motorists and not professional drivers who cause most trucking accidents.

Our attorneys say that there is also a call for improvement to the braking system of trucks. Our Petaluma personal injury law attorneys say a new “stability control system” is scheduled to be implemented in 2017. This innovation, our car accident attorneys explain, will help prevent often deadly roll-overs of semi-trucks and trailers when brakes are aggressively used. Further, Petaluma car accident attorneys say that poor maintenance of brake systems on big-rigs has also contributed to truck verses car accidents.

Injuries, attorneys add, may also be prevented with changes that can prevent vehicles from being wedged beneath big-rig trailers in Petaluma. Our personal injury attorneys support the addition of rear underride guard improvement for large trucks and single-unit trucks (such as dump trucks). Car accident attorneys explain that the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration is still to rule on these proposals. But, our personal injury law attorneys point out that IIHS is unsatisfied with NHSTA’s response to these efforts to reduce underride car accidents. Attorneys say IIHS claims that even Canada’s higher safety standards for trucks may also be inadequate. According to many safety experts, deaths and car crash injuries could be significantly lowered with a greater investment in changes to the underride system.

Car accident attorneys say that some grim statistics support the need for greater attention to truckers on the freeways of Petaluma. Personal injury law attorneys report that in crashes involving trucks, 67 percent are motorist fatalities and 16 percent are occupants of trucks. Our car cash injury lawyers think this is graphic evidence of the need for enhanced safety practices on trucking corridors of Petaluma.

Personal injury law attorneys say that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety analyzed the most common behaviors causing truck verses car accident injuries and deaths. Statistics reveal that truckers making improper turns, exceeding speed limits and not adhering to right-of-way laws lead to most truck and car crash accident injuries and deaths.

Drivers Need to Accept Responsibility in Petaluma
Personal injury law attorneys believe that motorists need to step up to the reality of sharing the road with large, heavy trucks. Trucking accidents on the freeways of Petaluma, accident attorneys know, often involve family vehicles. It’s every drivers’ responsibility to be aware of surrounding traffic movement including, our Petaluma accident attorneys say, the inherent challenges faced by big-rig drivers. Behind the wheel of a 20 ton, loaded big-rig traveling at freeway speeds, a trucker has fewer options than a motorist in Petaluma. Accident attorneys remind motorists that they too, can play a role in avoiding a trucking collision. Safety in Petaluma, our personal injury attorneys say, is a shared responsibility.

Stockton Truck Accidents alarm Injury Lawyers

In our niche of Central California there is one unavoidable traffic factor - trucks and big rigs are ever-present on freeways surrounding Stockton. Truck accidents attorneys at Sette Law deal with many victims, from truck drivers themselves to people injured in a truck accident. Our lawyers know that such accidents often result in very serious injury owing to the weight and size of big rigs. Even though the trucking industry is well regulated and motorists become accustomed to heavy truck traffic on our freeways, we continue to experience a significant number of Stockton truck accidents. Our attorneys support greater safety and awareness from both motorists and truckers traveling highways 99 and 5 through Stockton.

Accident lawyers say the CHP tracks trucking accidents, and their findings demonstrate the serious nature of road safety in California and in Stockton. Truck accidents, attorneys report, have remained fairly steady from 2008 to 2012, according to CHP figures. Approximately 7,500 to 8,700 people have been killed or injured each year in truck accidents. Our attorneys add that this figure is likely somewhat low because some truck accidents go unreported. But, our Stockton accident lawyers say the CHP data shows some positives for Stockton where truck accidents are far lower than in some other regions of California. For example, our Stockton accident lawyers point out, Los Angeles County logged ten times as many truck accidents as did San Joaquin County.
Nonetheless, if you or a loved one are involved in a Stockton truck accident, attorneys know comparative figures offer little comfort for personal pain. So, like many people, our accident lawyers look at ways to prevent Stockton truck accidents. Attorneys know that, sometimes, driver behavior – for both motorists and truckers – contributes to Stockton accidents. Lawyers, for example, have had to deal with long distance truckers affected by too little sleep and too many hours on the road. Of course, the trucking industry has established rules to mitigate against driving with too little rest. But our Stockton accident lawyers know that deadlines and pressure to deliver goods sometimes motivates truckers to maximize their driving.

Of course, our truck accident attorneys also recognize that big rig drivers face hazards of their own. Every year, about 600 truck drivers nationwide are killed – some because of fuel fires and others due to accidents. Our lawyers also point out that truckers may face several health problems from inhaling toxic fumes among other inherent hazards. Stockton accident and injury lawyers acknowledge industry efforts make trucking safer. It’s important for motorists to realize that truck driving is a demanding and strenuous skills. For example, our accident lawyers say that truckers must learn to signal turns well in advance of the maneuver to alert cars. In addition, motorists likely don’t realize how long it takes for a truck to stop due to its great weight. Stockton truck accident lawyers are keenly aware of this due to the speed vehicles travel on our two major freeways. In addition, truckers must resist frequent lane changes. Accident lawyers say truckers are aware that their “blind spots” are large. But, motorists may not share their awareness and make an unwise maneuver that causes a serious Stockton accident.

Our attorneys say responsibility for safety has to be shared. Motorists need to respect the challenges of driving a big rig and the nature of the vehicle itself – extremely heavy, very long and potentially deadly in an accident. Our attorneys advise motorists to be prepared for an emergency on the roads surrounding Stockton. Accident attorneys say that crashes, particular one involving a truck, are seldom anticipated but some simple preparation can make a bad situation better for drivers in Stockton. Our injury attorneys say that carrying a simple first aid kit, a blanket and flares is smart planning. In addition, our accident lawyers say drivers should have a hammer to break window glass and an implement to cut through a seatbelt. Of course, motorists should have a flashlight ready for emergencies in Stockton.

Accident attorneys at Sette Law also advise motorists on smart behavior after an accident. Medical attention, of course, is primary. Then, if it’s safe, victims should use a cell phone to record photos of the Stockton accident scene. Attorneys know that this kind of evidence can be extremely useful in court. An accident involving a truck verses a car most often happens on our freeways in Stockton. Personal injury lawyers acknowledge that taking photos may be difficult, even dangerous, in such circumstances. However, if possible, take photos of skid marks and the immediate environment surrounding the Stockton accident. But, our injury lawyers emphasize that your safety comes first. Don’t take any chances at the scene of an accident.

Injury lawyers add that it’s also important to exchange information – but no more than basic identification and insurance contacts. Personal injury lawyers caution against being angry or, even, apologetic as statements may later be use against you in court. This advice holds true for motorists as well as commercial drivers who are involved in a Stockton accident.

Attorneys, the media and public and the trucking industry are aware that in an accident with car verses truck, the smaller vehicle usually suffers the greatest harm. Our injury lawyers know the trucking industry makes sincere efforts to train, advise and support long haul and big rig drivers. Similarly, our injury attorneys say that motorists should also be more educated about sharing the road with trucks. There is no focused effort to better inform the public about sharing the road with big rigs in Stockton. Accident lawyers admit that there is more work to be done. But, since a family sedan is no match for a big rig on the freeways around Stockton, injury lawyers say it’s important for automobile drivers to recognize that size, power and speed can be a dangerous combination. At the same time, our accident injury attorneys know that professional drivers are educated and aware of their responsibilities behind the wheel of a big rig in Stockton. Our injury attorneys, like you, share the road with trucks that transport goods and materials important to our quality of life. It’s important to respect each other!