ClickCease 10 Common Ways Head On Truck Collisions Occur

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10 Causes of Truck Accident Collisions

10 Ways a Head-On 18 Wheeler or Semi Truck Can Happen -- Insight from the Experienced Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers

Head-on collisions are extremely dangerous and for those that involve 18 wheelers or semi-trucks, they are more likely to be fatal due to the size and impact a commercial truck can have on another vehicle. While these accidents are rare, accounting for only about 3 percent of all vehicle collisions, they still do occur. Below, the excellent team of truck accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers breaks down ten different ways that head-on collisions with trucks can happen to prepare you for cautious driving around 18 wheelers, semi-trucks, and other commercial vehicles. 

  1.  Construction zones. Although most established construction zones might have signage posted to warn drivers about the upcoming traffic changes and precautions to take, there may be times when a truck driver is unaware of upcoming construction zones. If the construction zone comes up suddenly on the highway and the truck must merge onto another lane, due to the size of 18-wheelers and semi-trucks, there is a possibility of the driver merging too far to the left and into the lane of oncoming traffic, which could result in a head on collision. 
  2. Driving While Fatigued. Truckers drive long distances while on tight schedules. Although there exist federal guidelines that limit the number of hours truckers are lawfully allowed to drive without taking a break, many truck drivers under pressure from employers and clients violate these guidelines to meet their tight deadlines. This is extremely dangerous as they can begin falling asleep at the wheel, which can cause the vehicle to drift from one side to another. If a truck drifts into the lane of oncoming traffic on a two-way road, this can cause a head on collision.
  3. Driving While Under the Influence. Truck drivers are under an immense amount of stress and pressure. Some may, in order to cope with this stress, may decide to drink or use drugs while on the job. This is a poor decision to make as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can impair vision, hand-eye coordination, and reaction times. Under these circumstances, a truck driver wouldn’t be able to break in time to stop a head on collision should they swerve into oncoming traffic. 
  4. Driving While Distracted. Truck drivers spend so much time on the road, away from their friends and families for days and sometimes even weeks at a time. It is common to see truck drivers driving with one hand while with a cellphone in the other as they have a phone conversation, sending a text, or even scrolling through social media. Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone, but especially so for truck drivers who drive massive vehicles that can cause much damage in the case of a head-on collision. 
  5. Improper Overtake and Passing. Some drivers may not be aware that a solid yellow line marked on the road indicates that a driver cannot pass that yellow line. This is meant to signal that it is unsafe to overtake and pass a vehicle when there is a solid yellow line on the next to the vehicle driving in that lane. When a non-commercial vehicle is attempting to overtake and pass another vehicle on a two-way highway, they may merge to the right-hand lane into oncoming traffic. If this driver merging onto the right-hand lane was blinded from an oncoming traffic and there is an 18-wheeler or semi-truck in that lane who was also blinded by the oncoming vehicle, the two will collide in a head-on collision, which can be devastating. 
  6. Medical Issues. There may be some cases where a commercial driver is behind the wheel when a medical emergency happens. The Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) states that long-haul truck drivers are susceptible to a wide array of diseases due to their profession and lifestyles. A survey conducted by the organization found that truck drivers are likely to suffer from obesity, smoking, low physical activity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Each of these different health conditions can contribute to cardiovascular disease, such as stroke and heart attack, which can strike at any time. In the unfortunate case that a truck driver would suffer from a medical emergency while behind the wheel, they would lose control of the vehicle and could swerve into oncoming traffic, which could result in a head on collision.
  7. Previous Accidents. When there is already an accident that has occurred or is occurring the moment that a commercial truck is driving towards it, it could result in a multi-crash collision pileup that involves the truck as well. This is difficult to avoid because trucks require longer time to come to a full stop. In the case that the truck driver attempts to avoid colliding with an already precedent accident, by swerving out of the way, they may end up colliding with oncoming traffic and cause a head-on collision that way. 
  8. Tire Complications. Popped, damaged, or compromised tires can be an unprecedented condition that can cause a truck driver to lose control of their vehicle and swerve into oncoming traffic, which could result in a head on collision. This is why it is important for truck drivers, who many times must drive on highways with poor road conditions for hours on end, to check their tires to ensure that they are in good shape before they embark on their long driving journey. 
  9. Unfamiliar Roads. Truckers are expected to drive long hours in often unknown territory and can find themselves on unfamiliar roads where they might not understand the traffic conditions, lane merges, signage, and other rules of that particular road. This can be particularly dangerous for truck drivers who might have to make sudden turns, merges, or changes. If they are caught off guard by an unfamiliar road or road condition they were unaware of that they now have to avoid, they could end up swerving into oncoming traffic and causing a head-on collision. 
  10.  Weather Conditions. Poor weather conditions are a trucker’s worst enemy. Much of the time, many truckers find themselves driving for hours with a hot and heavy sun beating down their face, making them dehydrated and susceptible to sunstroke. However, there are other conditions, such as heavy rain, hail, snow, ice, tumbleweeds, sand storms and more that can also obscure their vision and make road conditions dangerous. 
Injured in a Truck Accident? You Could Be Eligible for Economic Compensation for the Damages You Experience If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence in a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses, also known as damages. The following are the available damages for injuries sustained in an accident:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for monetary losses. They are calculated by determining the amount of out of pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of the injuries that were sustained in an accident. 

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Punitive Damages

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact are only incorporated in about 5% of all verdicts. Furthermore, there is no real set standard for calculating and awarding punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and will vary depending on the specific circumstances of a case.

Contact West Coast Trial Lawyers Today

If you have sustained injuries in the city of Los Angeles as a result of a trucking accident, our experienced team of truck accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at 888 341 9802 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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