Commercial Vehicles and the Dangers They Pose on Yakima’s Roadways

Although Yakima is hardly the congested metropolis that New York City or Los Angeles is, it does have its share of traffic — much of it in the form of commercial vehicles. Despite advances in just about every conceivable area of our daily lives, we still have not come up with a better way to move people or products from point A to point B than in a vehicle. Unfortunately, commercial vehicles also pose a significant risk to the passenger vehicles and pedestrians that share the road with them.

While the term “commercial vehicle” does apply to semi-trucks, it also applies to smaller trucks, buses and other vehicles. Taken as a whole, commercial vehicles represent a significant portion of the vehicles traveling Yakima’s roadways on any given day. Numerous factors make commercial vehicles a significant risk on the roadways.

Size alone is one factor that makes commercial vehicles more dangerous on the roadway. Colliding with a bus, truck or semi-truck almost always finds the passenger vehicle at a disadvantage, considering the weight of the commercial vehicle, the height, and the general size differential.

Another factor that often plays into accidents with commercial vehicles is the way in which these drivers earn their paycheck. For many, the farther they drive, or the more products that they deliver, the more they are paid. This can be quite an incentive for a driver to push past the need for sleep and continue driving even when he or she is obviously fatigued. Although there are federal laws regarding how many hours an over-the-road truck driver can drive, many commercial vehicles are exempt from those rules if they are only driving locally or meet another exception to the general rules that apply to hours worked by truck drivers.

Along with pushing past the point of fatigue, drivers may also be dealing with unrealistic delivery schedules that cause the driver to ignore posted speed limits and/or traffic signals in an effort to get all the deliveries done for the day.

Some commercial truck drivers are new on the job and lack the experience required to handle difficult driving situations. Factors such as bad weather can cause a new driver to lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident. Unfortunately, the result of a driver’s losing control of a commercial vehicle can be tragic.

Commercial truck drivers can also contribute to an accident for some of the same reasons that drivers of passenger vehicles do. Distracted driving, for example, causes or contributes to as many as 20 percent of all accidents on the roadways. Drivers of commercial vehicles are just as likely to be distracted by a cell phone, eating, looking for an address, or any other distraction as other drivers on the road.

If you have been involved in a collision with a commercial vehicle, you may have suffered significant injuries as a result. Although no one can turn back the clock and undo the accident, a Yakima accident attorney can help with your legal claims.

If you have been injured in a Yakima car accident and would like to make an appointment for a free consultation, contact the team at Mariano Morales Law today by calling (509) 853-2222, or use our online contact form.