Truck accidents take thousands of lives every year. More than 475,000 accidents in 2016 involved large trucks, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Of these accidents, 104,000 caused injuries and 3,864 were fatal. It’s crucial to do what you can to avoid and prevent commercial truck accidents in Florida, to keep yourself and others safe. Start by learning the five most common truck accident types to avoid in 2018. If you were injured in a truck accident, you should contact a Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorney right away.
1. Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving is a deadly and prevalent driver habit. Despite being responsible for heavy and dangerous commercial vehicles, many truck drivers are guilty of distracted driving. In 2016, distracted driving took 3,450 lives, based on crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Distracted driving can describe eating, drinking, texting, making phone calls, chatting with passengers, personal grooming, looking at a map, or engaging in any other activity that distracts a driver’s attention from the road. Avoid distracted driving accidents by always paying attention to the road, and steering clear of truckers who appear distracted.
2. No Zone Accidents
All 18-wheelers have “No Zones,” or zones where no motorists should drive. No zones are blind spots in which the truck driver cannot see other drivers. The No Zone extends about 20 feet in front of the truck, 30 feet behind, one lane to its left and two lanes to its right. Do your best to stay out of a truck’s No Zone, to maximize your visibility to the driver. If you can’t see the truck driver’s face in his/her mirrors, the driver can’t see you. If you must drive in a No Zone, pass through as quickly as you can.
3. Turning Truck Accidents
Large trucks and trailers can’t make sharp turns. Instead, they must bow outward, making a wide turn. A turning accident can occur if a passenger vehicle tries to pass a turning truck, or ends up trapped between the turning truck and the curb (in the driver’s No Zone). Avoid these collisions by watching for a large truck’s turn signals, and keeping your distance until the truck completes the maneuver. Never try to quickly pass a turning truck, or to sneak between the truck and the curb.
4. Equipment Failure Accidents
Big rigs rely on many different components, parts, and pieces of equipment to function safely and properly. The breakdown of just one piece of equipment could cause a fatal trucking accident. Tire blowouts, brake failure, rollovers, and lost loads are all common truck accident types that can stem from equipment failures or defects.
Although you may not have any power over how well a trucking company maintains its fleet vehicles, you can avoid these accidents by keeping your distance. Always keep enough room between yourself and a commercial truck to brake or maneuver away in the event of an equipment malfunction. The trucking company or part manufacturer may be liable for these types of accidents.
5. Cargo Load Accidents
Never drive too close behind a commercial truck’s trailer. Open flat-bed trucks carrying cargo such as logs can be extremely dangerous for following passenger vehicles. A lost load is a possibility if the cargo loaders did a poor job of securing the cargo to the bed of the truck. Closed-bed trucks may also lose their loads due to improper loading and overweight trucks.
The best way to avoid these accidents is to stay at least 30 feet back from the rear of the 18-wheeler. Pass the big rig as soon as you safely can. Keeping your distance is a great overall safety tip when driving near a commercial vehicle. Staying as far away as possible from big rigs can help you prevent underride accidents, rear-end collisions, side impact collisions, and more. If you were injured in an accident, contact an injury lawyer from David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. as soon as possible.