Sadly, every year hundreds of people are seriously injured and killed in Florida truck accidents. In 2017, there were 292 fatal crashes in the state involving large commercial trucks, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s annual Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report. Some commercial trucks, such as fully loaded tractor-trailers, can weigh as much as 40 tons. When a vehicle of that size and a passenger car collide, catastrophic injuries and fatalities are likely. As a driver, you can’t avoid sharing Florida’s roads and highways with large trucks. However, being educated about the common causes of truck accidents may help you understand your possible recourse if you should ever become the unfortunate victim of a crash with a semi-truck, delivery truck, or another large commercial vehicle.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a big-rig or other large commercial vehicle, an experienced Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer can answer your questions and help clear up confusion about possible next steps. To schedule a free, initial consultation of your case with a personal injury lawyer at David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A., reach out through the online form.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in FL
Most truck drivers are professionals who strive for safety, but many of them, especially long-distance truckers, often work long hours and are under enormous pressure from trucking companies to stay on schedule. This constant pressure can lead to stress, fatigue and, ultimately, driving errors. Truck driver inexperience can also lead to judgement errors, as can improper training of drivers. All of these actions can, unfortunately, lead to devastating wrecks.
Other common causes of Florida truck accidents include:
Alcohol and/or drug use by truck drivers or drivers of other vehicles can lead to crashes. Unlike the .08% alcohol limit for most drivers, the blood alcohol limit (BAC) for truckers is .04%.
Texting and other phone use, eating and drinking, and other distractions can cause truck drivers to remove their hands from the wheel and their eyes from the road.
Speeding and Aggressive Driving
Due to their sheer size and weight, large trucks require a longer stopping distance than passenger vehicles. A tractor-trailer going 65 mph will take almost quite some time to stop, compared to about the average car going that speed. Semi-trucks that tailgate other vehicles are especially dangerous, because it takes them longer to stop.
Unsecured or Overloaded Cargo
Loading trucks in an unsafe manner can lead to the vehicles becoming unbalanced and cause tip overs and other accidents.
Parts Defects and Equipment Malfunctions
Brake failures, tire blowouts, coupling malfunctions – which can cause semi-trucks to jackknife – and other equipment problems can lead to crashes.
Violating Trucking Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has trucking regulations in place to make the industry safer. When these regulations are violated, either by trucking companies or drivers, accidents can happen. Regulations stipulate how many hours drivers can be behind the wheel within certain time periods, how often trucks must be inspected, how heavy a load trucks of specific sizes can carry, and what kind of licenses drivers need to operate different types of commercial trucks, and more.
Road Construction or Poorly-Designed Roads
Sometimes road construction and other road conditions cause dangers for trucks. Bad weather can also be a factor.
The dangerous actions of other drivers may cause large trucks to crash and potentially harm innocent drivers on the road. For example, a vehicle might cut a truck off, and because large trucks can’t maneuver quickly, the truck might swerve to avoid crashing with that vehicle and hit other vehicles on the road.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident Attorney
It isn’t a simple task to determine who is at fault in Florida truck accidents. The fault may lie with the truck driver, with other drivers on the road, with the trucking company, a truck manufacturer, equipment manufacturers, or other people or entities who may have played a role in your accident.
If you’ve been injured or a loved one has been killed, a truck accident lawyer who understands the complexities of personal injury law in the state can look at the details of your case and fight for you to get compensation for your medical bills and other damages. Contact an experienced auto accident attorney at the David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. today for a no-obligation, complimentary consultation. Reach out online to learn more.