A fiery six-vehicle crash involving a semi-truck before 6 a.m. on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, on Interstate Highway 580 in Pleasanton, California took the life of the driver of a BMW. A big-rig slammed into the BMW which caught fire. The driver, a 43-year old man from Brentwood, was trapped inside and died. Although other vehicles also caught fire in the chain reaction accident, no other drivers or occupants were seriously injured.
The fatal Highway 580 fatal crash highlights the vulnerability of people traveling in cars when a large truck accident occurs. Each year nearly 2,500 persons in cars drivers and passengers die in accidents across America involving a large truck.
As explained by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars and are taller with greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles underriding trucks in crashes.”
Interstate trucks are subject to extensive state and federal regulations. These regulations govern the amount of time a driver can be on the road, truck maintenance and safety requirements, load restrictions, and many other factors. They are intended to make our roadways safer, but it is not uncommon for truck companies and drivers to circumvent the rules.
In this case, it appears that the brakes of the truck were not applied. Loaded tractor-trailers and other heavy, large trucks take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop, and the discrepancy is greater on wet and slippery roads or with poorly maintained brakes.
The investigation of the cause of the 580 truck crash will require an examination of several potential causes including:
- Driver factors such as hours on the road, cellphone records, past driving record and past record of alcohol or drug use. In particular, did the truck driver fail to timely apply the brakes due to fatigue, which is a known crash risk. Drivers of large trucks are allowed by federal hours-of-service regulations to drive up to 11 hours at a stretch and up to 77 hours over a seven-day period. Surveys indicate that many drivers violate the regulations and work longer than permitted.
- Truck factors to address whether or not the truck was proper condition including whether the brakes were properly maintained.
- Load factors such as whether the truck was carrying an excessive load which would have increased the amount of time necessary to bring the truck to a stop.
Contact Truck Accident Lawyers
At the Dolan Law Firm, our San Francisco truck accident lawyers help people in the San Francisco-Oakland-Sacramento area and throughout California who have been hurt in collisions with trucks and tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers and delivery vehicles. We understand the emotional trauma and financial hardship that a truck accident can cause.
Our award-winning personal injury trial lawyers are experienced in handling California truck accident cases. We have helped hundreds of injured people get financial recovery, as well as family members who lost a loved one to wrongful death after a truck wreck.
If you have been injured or a loved one died in a San Francisco truck accident, call 415-636-8160 or 888-452-4752 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at one of our three convenient offices in San Francisco, Oakland, or Sacramento.
We have helped hundreds of clients with personal injury claims, and the families of loved ones who died. We will review your claim for free, promptly, and with no obligation on your part.