Many previous postings in this blog have discussed the potentially dangerous results in accidents involving commercial motor vehicles and 18-wheelers. The massive size of these vehicles simply do not make them a match for the majority of other smaller vehicles that are traveling the same roadways. Therefore, a tractor-trailer accident can often result in serious injuries or even death.
A collision involving a semi truck that recently occurred on a California highway had a tragic and fatal result for one of the involved parties. Although passenger cars are not likely to provide much protection for the individuals inside of them when involved in a truck accident, this is even more so the case for a motorcycle. A motorcycle does not provide the motorcyclist with any protection from injury in the case of a collision. Therefore, when a motorcycle collides with a truck, there is a high probability that the accident will be deadly.
This particular California accident is still under investigation. However, it is known that the accident occurred shortly before 4:30 on a Monday morning. The motorcyclist suffered fatal injuries and the accident left traffic on the highway clogged for hours.
Although the details of this accident remain unknown, in tractor-trailer accidents in general if the driver of the commercial motor vehicle exhibited negligence while driving and it contributed to the occurrence of the accident, it may mean the end of that driver's career.
Truck drivers and their employers are required to operate in accordance with federal trucking regulations that apply just to those dealing with these large commercial motor vehicles. This legislation regulates hours of service, truck maintenance, driver training requirements and more. If a driver is in violation of any of these pieces of legislation when the accident occurs, they could potentially lose their commercial driver's license.
In addition to following this specific legislation, truck drivers, just like any other drivers on the road, are required to operate with a certain amount of care. In the case of these types of drivers, the standard of care is slightly heightened. However, if they do not exhibit at least the minimally required level of care, they may be considered negligent and the injured party or their family may be able to recover compensation in the form of damages.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Fatal motorcycle crash on 10 Freeway clogs traffic in San Dimas," Angel Jennings, Sept. 9, 2013