The State of Florida has certain laws to assist the transportation industry and keep commercial motor vehicle operations safe in Florida. Even with these laws and regulations on weight, load, and safety requirements, accidents still happen.
Truck accidents are often the most devastating types accidents that occur on Florida’s interstate and rural roadways – Florida’s Turnpike, Interstate 95 (I-95), Interstate 75 (I-75), Interstate 4 (I-4) and Interstate 595 (I-595).
Most deaths in large truck crashes (Single-unit trucks, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, dump trucks, buses, and cargo vans) are passenger vehicle occupants. Trucks and large vehicles often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars and are taller with greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles underriding trucks in crashes.
The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that there were more than 3,921 people killed and 104,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks (gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds) in 2012. In the U.S., 333,000 large trucks were involved in traffic crashes. During the same timeframe, Florida experienced 3,428 total vehicles involved in fatal crashes with 194 large trucks involved in fatal crashes, making it the third worst state for trucking accidents after California and Texas.
Some common causes of Truck Accidents Include:
- Fatigued Drivers
- Inexperienced Drivers
- Lack of License (CDL)
- Drug or Alcohol Intoxication
- Aggressive or Reckless Driving (Speeding)
- Improperly Loaded, Secured or Overloaded Trucks/Trailers
- Failure to Obey Traffic Laws
- Improper Road Maintenance
- Poorly Maintained Safety Systems (Brake Lights, Head Lights, Turn Signals, Reflectors)
- Driver Distraction / Inattention
- Tire Blowouts
As motorists who share the South Florida roadways with trucks, we also need to be mindful that trucks need a lot of room to maneuver, even when making turns. Trucks are unable to brake or stop quickly as they need almost 525 feet to slow down or come to a stop. Motorists also need to be cautious of sudden shifts as large trucks are vulnerable to flipping or becoming jack-knifed. Always give some space between you and the truck driver, do not tailgate. And never drive in a trucker’s blind spot or no-zone (directly behind the truck, directly in front of the truck or on the side of a truck [right side]). If you cannot see a truck driver in their mirror, you are in their blindspot.
Injuries sustained in truck accidents are often life-altering including, head trauma, spinal cord damage, disfigurement, burns, broken bones, lacerations, paralysis, and even death.
Trucking accidents and wrongful death cases can be complex, as they can involve multiple parties / entities (the driver, the truck owner / leasing company, the business or company leasing the vehicle, and the insurance companies), and state and federal trucking regulations. It is important to hire an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. Trial Attorney Tami Wolfe has been handling Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice cases for 25 years and has obtained numerous verdicts and settlements her clients.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed by a commercial truck, tractor trailer or large truck, contact Tami Wolfe online for a FREE consultation or call her at (954) 791-0477