As you drive around Fort Lauderdale, you’re bound to encounter several trucks. Many drivers get a little scared when big rigs get too close, and this is understandable. Accidents involving passenger cars and large trucks often result in severe injuries to the occupants of the passenger vehicle. In some cases, their lives are never the same again. There’s nothing you can do to completely negate the possibility that you’ll get involved in a crash. However, knowing the leading causes of truck accidents in Florida can help you to avoid tragedy. In the event that you do get involved in a truck accident, you should contact a Fort Lauderdale commercial truck accident attorney.
Truck accidents in Florida are not as common as other types of collisions. However, they are more likely to be catastrophic. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, and other commercial vehicles accounted for about 13% of all traffic deaths in the United States. Meanwhile, according to the 2018 Traffic Safety Facts published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 53 occupants of large trucks died in truck accidents in Florida. This was the second-highest number recorded by any state, following Texas, which recorded 137 deaths.
As you know, several factors contribute to traffic accidents, including driver behavior, road conditions, and mechanical issues. While truck accidents in Florida have a lot in common with other types of crashes, they also have some unique characteristics.
Motorists often get behind the wheel even though they know they’re sleep-deprived or tired. Anyone can do this. However, given the long hours that drowsy truck drivers work, it’s even more likely that they could fall asleep while driving. Even if they stay awake, their response time will be longer, and their reflexes will be slower. There are federal laws governing how long commercial drivers can drive without taking a break. However, some break the law, so they can make deliveries faster. This is often in response to demands from their employers. Unfortunately, the quest for more money can put both the driver and other road users at risk.
Again, any driver can get distracted. However, since truckers spend so many hours on the roads, they often carry out other tasks while driving. They may talk to loved ones on the phone, grab a snack, scroll through social media feeds, or even watch videos. While they may feel this breaks up some monotony associated with driving, it’s highly risky. Any activity that takes a driver’s full attention off the road is a distraction. Texting is especially dangerous because it means the driver’s eyes are off the road, their hands are off the steering wheel, and their mind is elsewhere. If a distracted driver causes you to get injured, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
Both drivers and their employers have a responsibility to ensure that their vehicles are in proper working order. Trucking companies must ensure their fleet is adequately maintained, given the demands of the industry. At the same time, drivers are legally required to inspect their vehicles before each journey. Bald tires, worn-out brakes, faulty steering, and electrical issues are all a cause for concern. If a driver or trucking company neglects their duty, they can be held liable if their actions lead to injuries.
Drivers must always be careful when they’re merging, changing lanes, or are in the vicinity of a driver who is doing so. However, you need to display even more caution if that vehicle is a tractor-trailer. These vehicles can be as much as five times as long as a family car. If a truck driver carelessly moves into your lane, you could be in significant danger. If you’re driving close to a commercial truck, you should carefully monitor the space around you and look out for signals from the driver.
If you suffered injuries in a truck accident, and you believe the other driver was at fault, you need to reach out to a Fort Lauderdale truck crash lawyer for advice. If there’s strong evidence that the driver, their employer, or another party caused your injuries, you may be entitled to recover compensation. Your attorney will need to investigate your case thoroughly, so the sooner you schedule a case review, the better it will be for you. At VG Law Group, your first consultation is free, and you only have to pay when we get compensation on your behalf. Call today and schedule a free consultation.