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California truck ports violating rules can cause truck accidents

Trucks are a constant on the roads on Southern California and across the nation. While most truck drivers will adhere to the law to maintain safety and avoid motor vehicle accidents, there are various factors that can lead to a crash. One that is garnering attention is the number of drivers who are working too many hours. Regardless of how and why a crash occurs, the aftereffects can be significant and cause many problems for those involved. A personal lawsuit is often the only strategy to recover a sufficient amount to adequately compensate the victims.

A report from USA Today says that drivers from two ports in Southern California might work as many as 20 hours per day for six days a week. In the report, these violations lead to drivers being fatigued and can cause truck accidents, some of them fatal. As part of their research, the reporters analyzed the trucks as they entered and left the ports and used the publicly available information at entry points. From this, they gleaned the amount of time the trucks were in operation. It found that 8 percent of the traffic between 2013 and 2016 involved a truck that might have been in violation of service rules regarding breaks after drivers have been on the road for 14 hours.

This information was linked to the number of truck accidents that happened because of driver fatigue over three years in Los Angeles and Long Beach. One involved a driver hitting a pedestrian after the driver worked for 45 hours over three days. The reporters spoke to another driver who admitted to working 16-hour shifts and used buckets of ice to remain awake. Although the trucking companies denied forcing drivers to violate the rules and asserted that trucks could have been driven by more than one driver, drivers they spoke to said they were encouraged to work long hours and that the companies did not allow truck sharing.

People who are in a crash with a truck will undoubtedly understand the damage that can be done. There can be injuries, hospitalizations, the need for long-term care, and fatalities. Understanding that these accidents might not have been simple matters of circumstance but were caused by companies forcing employees to violate rules or drivers violating the rules on their own can be vital to a lawsuit. An investigation is key and a lawyer who is experienced in personal injury cases can help.

Source: truckinginfo.com, "USA Today Finds Drivers Being Overworked at Ports," Steven Martinez, Dec. 29, 2017

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