5 Common Causes of Truck Accidents in San Francisco

Truck accidents are a sad reality on the busy streets of San Francisco. With winding roads, steep hills, and heavy traffic, operating large trucks in the city poses many hazards. The damage can be catastrophic when multi-ton tractor-trailers collide with smaller passenger vehicles.

You may be eligible for significant compensation if you or a loved one has been injured in a truck crash. However, winning your claim requires proving what caused the accident, which can be done with the help of an experienced San Francisco truck accident attorney.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the five most prevalent causes of truck accidents in San Francisco and how an experienced attorney can help investigate the fault.

1. Speeding

Exceeding safe speed limits is a leading factor in truck crashes across the United States. Large trucks require much more braking distance than standard automobiles. Further, traveling too fast eliminates reaction time and the ability to stop promptly when faced with slowed traffic, pedestrians, or sudden road hazards.

San Francisco’s hilly terrain further exacerbates speeding dangers. Truckers barreling downhill can easily lose control, jackknife, or collide with vehicles in front of them. Similarly, exceeding speed limits when climbing steep inclines strains engines and can cause runaway trucks. Accordingly, an experienced San Francisco truck accident attorney will subpoena electronic log data and GPS records to prove if a trucker was speeding before the accident. This information can establish liability and justify substantial financial compensation for your injuries and damages.

2. Truck Driver Fatigue

Drowsy driving is another major hazard, especially in the trucking industry. Rigorous federal hours of service regulations restrict when and how long truckers can be on the road without rest.

However, light schedules, mileage bonuses, and traffic delays motivate some drivers to exceed these limits dangerously. Moreover, fatigued driving slows reaction times, degrades focus and judgment, and delays responses to changing road conditions.

Thus, exhausted truckers are much more prone to tailgate, drift lanes, overlook stopped vehicles, and cause catastrophic chain-reaction accidents.

3. Truck Driver Impairment

Despite federal prohibitions, some long-haul truckers drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Intoxication severely reduces motor skills and perception, multiplying accident risks enormously.

Like fatigue, chemical impairment slows reaction times and causes delayed responses to traffic changes, pedestrians, signals, and road hazards. If police suspect DUI, they can get a warrant to test the trucker’s blood. However, many truckers evade detection.

Nonetheless, your lawyer will aggressively pursue sobriety evidence like empty liquor containers, erratic driving reports, failed field tests, and eyewitness accounts to establish liability.

4. Distracted Driving 

Texting, calling, adjusting navigation devices, eating, or performing any activity that diverts attention from the road substantially raises crash risks. Truck cabs feature an array of gadgets and controls that can prompt drivers to take their eyes off traffic and hands off the wheel.

Your attorney will seek phone records, GPS data, and eyewitness testimony to prove that the trucker was distracted before the collision. Photographs or video evidence of the driver using a phone or manipulating in-cab devices can also establish negligence.

5. Dangerous Weather

San Francisco is prone to dense fog, slick rain, and high winds. Hence, inclement weather degrades visibility, traction, and vehicle control. However, truckers are still expected to adjust their speed and driving to suit conditions.

Hazards like jackknifing, hydroplaning, veering into other lanes, and longer stopping distances are intensified for trucks in bad weather. If a trucker continued driving at unsafe speeds or failed to correct course despite reduced visibility and slick roads, they ignored their duty of care.

Your attorney can obtain local weather reports and accident reconstruction data to demonstrate how dangerous conditions caused the trucker’s negligent actions to result in a crash.

Final Thoughts About Truck Accidents 

Truck accidents can inflict catastrophic injuries with lifelong implications. However, recouping damages requires proving precisely why the truck driver or their employer is liable.

An experienced truck accident attorney will relentlessly pursue that evidence through subpoenas, depositions, crash reconstructions, and expert testimony.

Trucks will be held accountable with sound legal representation when their negligent actions cause harm. Don’t delay in seeking justice.


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