Trucking Accidents: What You Need to Know
With trucks on Florida roads weighing up to 40 tons and resting on 18 tires, it is no wonder that injuries related to trucking accidents are usually catastrophic. Despite every precaution road engineers, weigh stations, and truck drivers may take, accidents still happen.
Just last week, a Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida man lost his life when a large truck lost its wheel and went through his windshield on Interstate 95. This tragedy is only one of an estimated four thousand that will occur this year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2012, 3,921 individuals lost their lives in truck-related accidents. This was a 3.7% increase in deaths since 2011, and the numbers show increases each year.
What Makes Trucks so Dangerous?
There are a variety of factors that contribute to the danger large trucks pose to other drivers. Most obviously, the sheer size of trucks poses a threat. Trucks driving on Florida roads can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can have up to 18 wheels. Despite “wide turn” warnings on the backs of trucks, other drivers tend to underestimate the truck’s size and the truck driver’s ability to see. Visibility is a key issue when trucks span the width of three cars and have limited vision out of the rear-view mirrors that smaller vehicle drivers can more readily rely upon.
Weight is, of course, a contributing factor in truck crashes. Despite weigh stations placed off of major highways, not all drivers and companies comply with weight regulations. Weight requirements ensure the roads trucks travel upon can withstand the pressure the trucks place on the ground. Weight requirements can differ based on the city and on things such as bridges, expressways, and smaller city roads. Out-of-state drivers must familiarize themselves with these regulations before entering Florida, and have a continuing obligation to comply with posted laws when there. If drivers fail to comply, heavy trucks can crack roads, lose parts, and create significant danger to other drivers.
While it is ultimately a company’s responsibility to ensure their drivers are in compliance with state and federal law with things such as weight, the negligence and actions of drivers can cause accidents too. Two recent accidents in Florida shed light on the problem of long hours and insufficient training of truck drivers. First, 75 gallons of diesel fuel spilled onto the roadway after a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel. Incidentally, this was nearly the same site where a tractor-trailer lost control, caused an accident and accompanying fire, and killed one person.
What if I Was Injured in a Truck Accident?
We understand how frightening it can be to be in a car accident, especially one involving a truck. At Alan Goldfarb, P.A., our team of experienced truck accident attorneys can help you through this difficult time. If a truck driver, company, road engineer, mechanic, municipality, or anyone is found responsible for causing you injury or costing a loved one their life, you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation can help you recover lost wages, pay medical bills and subsequent treatments, or compensation for pain and suffering, among other things. These types of cases require inside knowledge of the judicial system and experienced litigators who will investigate and advocate on your behalf. Do not hesitate to contact our office in Miami, Florida and let us help you today.