Fiol Law Group|Posted in Car Accidents on February 17, 2020
A collision between a passenger car and a commercial truck will almost always end worse for the passengers of the smaller vehicle. The size and weight of the average big rig far surpass that of the typical motor vehicle – leading to greater property damage and destruction to the latter. It is up to all parties within the commercial trucking industry to fulfill their duties of care to prevent traffic accidents. Unfortunately, many regularly breach their duties in Florida.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Florida
Throughout the U.S, 4,657 fatal accidents in 2017 involved commercial trucks. Many of these accidents occurred due to truck driver negligence. Truck drivers are prone to the same errors as typical motorists. Despite having a commercial driver’s license and special training, a truck driver may engage in dangerous behaviors such as texting and driving or dozing off behind the wheel. Distracted, drowsy, careless, reckless or drunk driving in a big rig could cause fatal accidents.
Reckless truck driving can include hazardous behaviors such as driving under the influence of alcohol or excessive speeding. Speeding is a significant problem among truckers in Florida. It is a moving violation that often results in deadly truck and vehicle accidents. Data shows that 10% of all Florida traffic fatalities (3,176 deaths) in 2016 had to do with speeding. Furthermore, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration found that speeding of any kind was the most common driver-related factor behind large truck fatal crashes in 2017.
Lack of vehicle roadworthiness is another common cause of Florida truck accidents. Not all trucking companies spend the time or money to adequately maintain their fleets. Negligent truck maintenance can lead to vehicles that are unfit for the road. Worn-down tires, broken headlights, missing trailer reflectors, poorly secured cargo, electrical problems, bad brakes and other vehicle issues could lead to serious accidents. Driving an unsound commercial truck can be significantly dangerous for the truck driver and everyone else on the road.
Florida’s Roadway Problems
Besides truck driver errors and faulty equipment, the third-most-common cause of truck accidents in Florida is defective roadways. Dangerous road surface conditions can cause issues such as big rig tire blowouts and loss of vehicle control. Even an experienced and vigilant truck driver may not be able to control an 18-wheeler that strikes a pothole and blows a tire. Lack of proper roadway maintenance combined with Florida’s consistent rain and heat damaging the roads can lead to unreasonably dangerous routes for truckers.
Highway congestion and poor roadway design can also contribute to Florida truck accidents. Roadway problems such as heavy traffic on I-95 can lead to deadly collisions between commercial vehicles and passenger cars. Large trucks do not have the same braking capacity as smaller vehicles, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions on busy roads. Combined with inattentive truck drivers, Florida’s roadway problems can contribute to how many serious and fatal truck accidents occur in the Sunshine State.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Truck Accident
If you get in a truck accident in Florida, go to the hospital immediately for a checkup. Truck accidents are often traumatic, with related injuries ranging from broken bones to brain damage. Immediate medical care can help you receive the treatment you need to recover, as well as document your injuries for an insurance company.
Next, learn as much as you can about the truck accident. Document pieces of potential evidence such as photographs from the scene, your police report, cellphone records and the truck’s black box. Hire an accident attorney to help you gain access to this evidence and to build an injury claim against the driver or trucking company on your behalf. A Tampa truck accident lawyer can help you rise against a large corporation and fight for the compensation owed.