The Role of the California Highway Patrol in Investigating Truck Accidents

by Staff Blogger | March 21st, 2023

Three state highways cross Modesto, CA: 99, 108, and 132. Highway 99 is a major route for trucks. Since heavy trucks generate incredible amounts of force in collisions, truck accidents can be particularly severe, often causing catastrophic injuries.

In an emergency, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) directs traffic under Section 2410 of the California Vehicle Code (CVC). CHP’s command designation gives them responsibility for the incident scene and traffic impacts associated with other agencies’ involvement.

CHP investigates and analyzes significant truck accidents in Modesto. An investigation involves the reconstruction of an incident and studies possible contributing factors. The ultimate goal is to identify what causes big truck accidents  and prevent them from reoccurring.

When you have been in a truck accident, you need an experienced Modesto truck accident attorney to protect your legal rights and maximize your financial recovery.

Following are the specific roles of the California Highway Patrol in investigating truck accidents.

Assistance with Traffic Control

CHP department representatives work together to restore normal traffic flow through appropriate response measures and methods. The method depends on the individual truck accident and the objectives.

CHP’s responsibility is to direct traffic in the short term until conditions stabilize or until Caltrans implements the necessary long-term traffic control measures.

A CHP officer can control traffic using hand signals, flare patterns, cones, or other techniques. In these circumstances, traffic is temporarily redirected pending improved conditions or installation of traffic signs, barriers, and other control devices to alleviate traffic congestion.

CHP promptly ensures that the traveling public is kept safe when a critical emergency requires traffic control.

When you are involved in an accident on a California state highway, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will investigate and file an accident report. When pursuing an injury claim, the contents of the accident report are crucial to the defense of the responsible driver.

Collecting Accurate and Timely Evidence After Truck Accidents

CHP investigates truck accidents in Modesto to gather factual evidence for due process and statistical analysis. They may restrict unauthorized individuals from entering the investigation area to assist them in performing this duty.

They will collect evidence, preserve property, and provide emergency medical care to those in need. If a truck collision or damage to a highway facility results in significant traffic, CHP will notify Caltrans immediately.

Caltrans personnel are responsible for repairing the damage and restoring normal operations to the facility. California Highway Patrol provides Caltrans with copies of collision reports on state highways to be evaluated for:

  • Safety and operational improvements
  • Repair
  • Maintenance
  • Recovery of damage costs from responsible parties

Caltrans and the CHP communicate when frequent collision locations are recognized to determine mitigation measures.

At first, it may seem difficult to understand a CHP traffic accident report. But with the help of a truck accident attorney, Modesto residents may better understand what the report means for their case.

Get in touch with a Modesto truck accident attorney with experience handling truck accident cases immediately so you never have to guess your way through the process.

Investigations to Ensure Public Safety

The California Highway Patrol and Caltrans have developed several unique programs to improve safety and provide motorists with service. Safety is the number one priority in both departments and is a central part of their mission.

Policy statements specify the responsibilities associated with those programs. CHP and Caltrans work together to implement immediate corrective actions when a situation or circumstance in the transportation infrastructure poses a threat to motorist safety.

These plans are examples of implementing public education programs or modifying engineering priorities. For example, to become an integral part of CHP’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Teams (MAIT) Program, Caltrans engineers receive training from CHP. As part of the MAIT Program, CHP supervises Caltrans engineers.

CHP provides a completed Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Teams (MAIT) report to Caltrans’ Legal Department, and as part of MAIT, CHP coordinates media relations activities. When MAIT responds to a truck accident, CHP notifies the Caltrans team member.

Where the MAIT investigation exceeds 30 days, CHP informs Caltrans through a Caltrans team member and provides an estimated completion date. CHP field supervisors carry out their investigation duties to prevent unnecessary motorist delays.

Contact a California Freeway Truck Accident Lawyer

It is the responsibility of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to operate the state highway network. As part of its mission, the Department is dedicated to providing the public with the highest level of mobility, safety, and security. They achieve this through effective traffic control, incident management, and quick incident resolution. Our team of experienced truck accident attorneys in Modesto can assist you if you have been injured in a truck accident in Modesto or lost a loved one. Contact us today at Berg Injury Lawyers Modesto offices for a free consultation.