How To Avoid Auto Accidents With Big Trucks On California Freeways

truck accidents

Tractor trailers are some of the largest and most dangerous vehicles on the road. You could be seriously injured or killed if a big rig slams into your car on a busy California highway such as the 405.

To prevent serious truck accidents on California freeways, follow the tips below. Have questions about a truck accident? Our personal injury attorneys in Glendale at Ourfalian & Ourfalian can help.

Stay Out Of The Truck’s Blind Spot

Large, commercial trucks have more and larger blind spots than private vehicles. You should stay out of these blind spots as much as possible. They include

  • 20 feet in front of the rig
  • 30 feet behind the truck
  • Two lane widths on the right side of the tractor-trailer
  • Driver’s side lane going back about 50% of the trailer’s length

Be Predictable

Being a predictable driver is critical to staying safe around large trucks on California freeways. If you drive the way the trucker expects, such as signaling and passing safely, the trucker will be better able to avoid hitting you. Remember, many truck accidents happen because passenger vehicle drivers act unpredictably.

Be Careful When Passing

We should always care when passing other vehicles, but this is even more true with big trucks. Big rigs take much longer to slow down and avoid other vehicles. So you need to give truck drivers more time to slow down. Some critical tips for passing trucks safely include:

  • Never pass a tractor-trailer up or down a large hill; the truck may naturally speed up or slow down
  • Approach the truck you want to pass on its left side, where it is easier for the driver to see you. Keep the same speed and use turn signals when passing
  • Do not cut in front of the trucker when you pass. Instead, wait until you can see the driver in your rearview mirror before signaling and moving over.

Respect Following Distances

Allowing plenty of space behind a commercial truck reduces your visibility. The trucker will need help seeing you. You may not see approaching dangers, such as obstacles in the road or traffic jams.

Also, always leave plenty of room in front of the truck when you pass and move over. Trucks often need up to 90% more space to stop than cars. Many severe accidents happen when car drivers cut off big rigs in California.

Do Not Drive Distracted Around Trucks

Distracted driving, such as with a cell phone, is always hazardous. However, being distracted around a truck can be even more dangerous. Therefore, when near trucks, always pay attention to your driving to stay safe.

Use Care In Bad Weather

Driving is more dangerous when there’s snow, rain, or ice on California highways. Trucks need to slow down when the weather is poor, and they need longer to stop. Therefore, you should use extra care when around trucks in bad weather. One way is to increase your following distances to avoid road spray.

Pull Over Safely

Sometimes we need to pull over on the highway. But you should pull off onto a wide shoulder or rest area and not near traffic. There are many nasty accidents where trucks sideswipe stopped vehicles.

Be Aware Of Truck Turn Signals

If you are driving next to a truck, always be aware that they may not see you. If the trucker turns on their turn signal to move into your lane, slow down to get out of the way. You can also avoid this danger by passing the truck as soon as you can safely.

Watch For Turning Trucks

Drivers should use care to avoid truck accidents in intersections. Trucks usually must swing wide or use several lanes to turn. Other drivers should be aware of this tendency. If a truck intends to turn to the right, you should not try to pass on that side. You also should not follow too closely when the truck turns; the trucker probably cannot see you.

How To Get More For Your Truck Accident Settlement

If you do get in a truck accident, here are some tips to get more for your settlement:

Always Hire A Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer

You never want to go up against a trucker’s insurance company by yourself. You will almost always wind up with less money than if you hire a personal injury attorney. Your attorney also can threaten a lawsuit if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement.

Collect Accident Evidence Immediately

If you are not seriously hurt after the truck accident, attempt to collect evidence as soon as possible after the crash. Take photos of the accident and your injuries. Note the position of the vehicles on the road before the police move them. Always make sure the police come to the scene after a truck crash.

Let Your Attorney Speak For You

You do not want to talk to the trucker’s insurance company after the accident. Their goal is to get you to say something to hurt your case. When you have been in an accident with a big rig, you should call a Glendale truck accident attorney as soon as possible. If the insurance company tries to call you, simply tell them that you have retained a lawyer, and they will contact them.

Contact A Personal Injury Attorney In Glendale

Whether you are driving in California on Interstate 605 or Interstate 10, you never want to be in an accident with a big truck. You can suffer devastating injuries and property damage when a big rig hits your vehicle.

While many accidents can be avoided with the tips mentioned above, sometimes they cannot. If you are hit by a truck, you will need a Glendale personal injury attorney to fight for your legal rights. The personal injury attorneys at Ourfalian & Ourfalian have the experience and skill to fight for your rights after a truck accident. Please contact our Glendale personal injury attorneys for a complimentary consultation about your truck accident case at (818) 550-7777.

How Excessive Speed Increases Deadly Car Accidents

car accidents

The expression ‘speed kills’ often applies to California car accidents. Science shows for every 10 MPH faster you travel, the risk of dying in a car wreck doubles. Also, as vehicle speed rises, so do the chances of severe injuries. One study in 2018 estimated that speeding caused ⅓ of traffic fatalities or 9,378. The National Safety Council (NSC) also reports speeding was involved in 29% of traffic deaths in 2020.

Learn more below about how speeding increases the chances of deadly auto accidents. If you have already been in a car accident, contact Glendale car accident lawyers Ourfalian & Ourfalian for a complimentary consultation.

Most Common Speeding Drivers and Scenarios

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gathers statistics about U.S. auto accidents. The agency reports that young men are the most likely to speed and get in fatal crashes. The NHTSA also says about ⅓ of male drivers between 15 and 24 in fatal wrecks in 2013 were speeding. Further, 42% of speeding drivers in deadly accidents were intoxicated at the time.

The IIHS adds that while most drivers speed from time to time, fatal speeding accidents are most common on expressways and highways. In addition, studies suggest that traffic going over posted speed limits can be as high as 72% on highways.

How Speed Can Kill In Auto Accidents

We all understand the faster we move, the harder it is to stop. Unfortunately, that is the case with a speeding car, too. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that speed raises the odds of deadly accidents in these ways:

  • Increases the distance a car travels between the time you see and respond to an emergency.
  • Increases the distance you need to stop your car when you press the brake.
  • Increases the energy expended in a crash. For instance, when crash speed rises from 40 MPH to 60 MPH, the expended energy in the crash doubles.

If you drive too fast, the force of the crash can be so catastrophic that the vehicle cannot maintain structural integrity. As a result, the car’s passenger compartment may collapse, leaving occupants dead or severely injured. When the vehicle speed is too high, seatbelts and airbags are of limited assistance, too.

How Speeding Affects Auto Accident Liability

If another driver was speeding and caused a severe or deadly accident, this can be used against them in a personal injury lawsuit. Speeding is an obvious type of negligence, which is how liability is proven in an accident. The accident probably would not have happened and injured or killed someone if they were not speeding.

A Glendale car accident lawyer may rely on the following evidence to prove the other driver was speeding:

  • Police report
  • Statements from eyewitnesses
  • Evidence from the accident scene
  • Dashcam and traffic light video
  • Crash data from the vehicle’s ‘black box’
  • Opinions from vehicle crash experts
  • Skid marks

While the speeding driver may be held liable in a serious or fatal car accident, not every accident is clear-cut. For example, a driver hits you at high speed at a red light. As a result, you suffer a broken arm and whiplash. This could lead to shared liability.

In Illinois, there is a comparative negligence standard for car accidents. This means you can only recover damages if you were less than 50% at fault for the accident. So, for example, if you were 40% liable for a speeding accident with $20,000 in damages, you may only receive $12,000 in a potential settlement.

If you are in a car accident where liability may be shared with a speeding driver, you must review the case with an Illinois car accident lawyer.

Why Do People Speed?

Speeding is aggressive driving that can be dangerous and deadly. Most people are aware of this, so why do they do it? The NHTSA reports these as the most common reasons people speed:

Traffic Congestion

Traffic frustrates people and leads to aggressive driving, including speeding and tailgating. Drivers often respond to traffic by speeding, cutting off other drivers, and getting angry at slower drivers.

Running Behind Schedule

Many of us drive too fast because we are late. Whether it is work, school, or another appointment, speeding can cause serious accidents when people are rushed.


A car usually insulates us from our surroundings. When we are shielded from others, we may feel detached. This can cause some drivers to feel freer to drive aggressively.

Disregard For Other Drivers

Most of us do not usually drive aggressively. However, a segment of the population often drives aggressively, increasing the chances of fatal accidents.

How To Deal With Speeders

Speeding drivers affect others, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. So if you see speeders on the road, here are some critical safety tips:

  • If you are driving in the left lane and another driver wants to pass, signal and move over. Do not get frustrated and slow down; this can lead to more aggressive driving.
  • Give the speeder a lot of space. The faster the driver goes, the more likely they will lose control.
  • Tailor your driving. We know that aggressive drivers speed. If you have a speeder following you, get out of the way safely. It is not worth the risk to engage in aggressive driving.
  • Call law enforcement if a speeder harasses or follows you.

Contact Glendale Car Accident Lawyers Now

You may face huge medical bills if you or a loved one is in a severe car accident. You also may not be able to work for months. Who will pay these bills and your other expenses during your accident recovery?

Glendale car accident lawyers Ourfalian & Ourfalian have represented California auto accident clients for many years. Our attorneys can tap many kinds of evidence to determine if speeding was a factor in your accident.

Ourfalian & Ourfalian represent drivers and passengers in Encino, Alhambra, Arcadia, Burbank, Glendale, El Monte, Granada Hills, Los Angeles, Monterey Park, North Hollywood, Pasadena, Van Nuys, and surrounding communities in Southern California and the San Fernando Valley. Please contact us today for a complimentary consultation at: (818) 550-7777.