The Port of Long Beach combined with the Port of Los Angeles makes up the largest commercial shipping center in the United States. The Port of Long Beach is also known as Long Beach’s Harbor Department is the second-busiest container port in the United States. The port is a major west coast gateway for trade between the United States and many Asian nations including China and Indonesia. Major imports coming into the port includes crude oil, electronic goods, furniture, and plastics. The port also processes significant exports from factories and manufacturing facilities within the U.S. including refined petroleum products, chemicals, and waste paper.
The significant amount of trade through this port necessitates a significant number of freight trucks carrying these goods to and from the container ports. In fact, the port generates more than $100 billion in trade and provides more than 300,000 jobs in southern California. These trucks may make use of the local surface roads or the major freeways that provide for high-speed travel throughout Long Beach, Los Angeles, and California. In most instances smaller vehicles like cars, vans, and pickups share the road successfully and without incident with large commercial trucks like 18-wheelers or semis. However, in some instances, circumstances or driving behaviors can cause serious accidents between large trucks and passenger vehicles.
Where Can Truck Accidents Occur in and Around Long Beach?
One of the reasons the Port of Long Beach is so busy and heavily trafficked is the robust transportation network the provides access to the port. These roads and freeways allows commercial trucks to move these goods rapidly throughout Southern California and to the entire nation. Consider that the 710 freeway provides nearly direct access to the Port of Long Beach. Furthermore, this freeway is fed by a number of other freeways including I-5, the 405, and the 105. Furthermore, the Seaside Freeway, also called Route 41, runs along the coast and connects the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles.
What Are Common Reasons for Commercial Truck Traffic Accidents and Injuries?
While highways and freeways provide a high level of convenience and permit people and goods to travel long distances in relatively short amounts of time, a fact of modern life is that serious accidents can and do occur. While no two accidents are the same, a number of similar factors and conditions may combine to make the collision imminent. Some of these factors may include:
- Improperly maintained truck – Trucks that are 65 feet long and carrying up to 70,000 gross pounds require a significant amount of maintenance to ensure that all parts are in working order. The simple fact is that a blown tire or faulty brakes can cause serious life-altering injuries or even death to the truck driver or occupants of nearby passenger vehicles. Should the truck catch fire, the 200 to 300 gallons of diesel the truck is potentially carrying can create an inferno.
- Distracted driver – In today’s world electronic devices are everywhere. Whether a driver is adjusting the radio or taking his or her eyes off of the road for just an instant to check a cell phone, these actions can have serious consequences.
- Drunk or drugged commercial driver – While most people think about alcohol and illegal drugs like methamphetamine or marijuana when they consider impaired driving, prescription drugs can have a similar effect. Intoxicating substances impair decision-making abilities and a driver’s reaction time.
- Aggressive or unsafe driving – most commercial drivers proceed cautiously and carefully. However, a driver who is racing to meet a deadline or satisfy client demands may speed or engage in unsafe lane changes. These actions threaten to involve all nearby drivers in a crash.
- Fatigued driving – Drivers are supposed to adhere to adhere to strict limits on their hours on duty operating a commercial motor vehicle. Drivers may attempt to skirt these limits. Fatigued driving can have serious effects on one’s ability to control any vehicle.
- Adverse weather conditions – While southern California is known for its picturesque weather conditions, when weather is bad drivers may be less able to cope with the reduced visibility and increased stopping distances.
The above covers only some of the major reasons commonly behind commercial truck accidents. Many other causes can contribute to a crash.
Commercial Truck Accident Lawyers May Be Able to Fight For You
If you’ve been involved in a serious accident with an 18 wheeler or another commercial vehicle, the truck accident lawyers of the Reiff Law Firm’s The Truck Accident Team can fight for you. Schedule a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation today by calling (215) 246-9000 or contact us online today.