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Big rig accidents can be bad news for California motorists

"Big rig" trucks are on the highways of Northern California and San Joaquin County around the clock. They haul the products that California is known world-wide for producing, whether they be bottles from wine country or produce from the Central Valley, as well as products from other states and around the globe. As much good as the trucking industry does for the economy, these gargantuan vehicles also pose a risk to other motorists on the state's roads.

A tractor trailer taken alone is not necessarily dangerous, but when a hazard - such as poor weather, bad traffic conditions, driver fatigue or faulty vehicle maintenance - is present, a big truck can become a lethal instrumentality. The very size and weight of the vehicles and the trailers they pull amplify their potential for destruction, especially in collisions with smaller vehicles. In such instances, truck accidents can be catastrophic.

Even single-vehicle accidents that involve big rigs pose hazards for Californians. For example, a recent accident on Interstate 5 in San Joaquin County left a tractor trailer dangling from a freeway overpass, requiring closures on both Interstates 5 and 580 until it was cleared. Had the truck fallen from the overpass onto another vehicle - or vehicles - fatalities almost certainly would have occurred.

Because big rigs are commercial vehicles, crashes in which they are involved may require more intensive investigations and invoke federal transportation laws. When a motorist has been in an accident that involved a tractor trailer, they may need to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.

Source: CBS Sacramento, "Big rig crashes on SB I-5 south of Tracy; 1 lane closed," March 1, 2018

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