Over 4000 people die and thousands get injured in truck accidents every year. Owing to their huge size, big trucks can inflict substantial damage on other vehicles on the road. And needless to say, smaller vehicles like cars offer less protection to their occupants, compared to massive trucks, in a crash. Whether you are driving a car on busy city roads or highways, huge rigs are a common sight in Florida. A collision with these gigantic vehicles can result in severe injuries, paralysis, or even death of occupants of a smaller vehicle. Therefore, it is wise to maintain a safe distance from them while you are behind the wheel.
Despite all safety measures people take to reduce their risk of a crash, truck accidents is quite a common occurrence in the Sunshine State. While you cannot completely wipe out the possibility of truck accidents, understanding the factors that lead to such crashes can help you stay safe on Florida roads.
Here are the most common reasons behind truck accidents in Florida:
- Distracted Driving: Professional truck drivers spend a major portion of their lives on roads. In order to meet their deadlines, many of them are forced to drink, eat or perform similar tasks while driving. Oftentimes, this multitasking attitude diverts the attention of truckers from their surroundings, raising significant risk for other drivers on the road. The most common distractors are texting, checking social sites, talking over the phone, and even watching videos. Truck accidents due to distracted driving are still a major concern despite the fact that such activities are illegal under federal and state trucking laws.
- Poor Maintenance: It is the responsibility of trucking agencies to provide their truck drivers with well-functioning rigs. Besides, trucking laws require drivers to carry out a safety inspection on their trucks before every journey. Despite such strict regulations, you can often find trucks with faulty electrical system, bald tires, and defective breaking system along with other parts and components that are prone to abrupt failure.
- Impaired Driving: Stimulants are generally taken by truckers that help them stay awake during long journeys. In addition to this, they often depend on prescription medications and painkillers to make ends meet. Some drivers also consume alcohol while driving to overcome pain, exhaustion, or boredom, which increases risks for other vehicle drivers on the road.
- Truck Overloading: While there are stringent regulations on how much load a truck can bear, some trucking companies deliberately overload rigs to lower the number of trips and maximize profits. Overloading substantially impact the balance of a truck, eventually affecting a driver’s ability to turn the vehicle or stop suddenly in extreme situations
- Drowsy Driving: Driving a truck for extended hours makes truckers weary and tired, which may slow down their reflexes and impair their reaction time. To prevent truckers to sleep while driving, federal laws have been implemented in order to allow them to take breaks for rest. While truck drivers are not allowed to miss their mandatory breaks for rest, many prefer to drive through their break time or reduce their time for sleep for faster deliveries. Truckers are often incentivized with monetary benefits for making before-time deliveries. This attitude of putting money over safety elevates risk for them as well as other drivers on the road.
- Reckless Driving: Truck drivers, who choose to abide by the regulation of rest break, try to compensate for their break time in unlawful ways like speeding or jumping red lights. Truckers under pressure to make faster deliveries may get stressed many a time, which encourages them to indulge in acts of reckless driving like changing lanes without giving signals, tailgating, etc.
- Poor Weather: Poor weather conditions make it difficult to drive for people at the wheel of both large and small vehicles. Wet or ice-covered roads are slippery that may affect a driver’s control over their rig and ability to see their surroundings clearly. Likewise, fog impairs truck drivers’ visibility, causing them to fail to recognize smaller vehicles around them, especially during the night. Similarly, heavy winds can cause tractor-trailers to sway to some extent, making it difficult for truckers to control them. In a windy weather, truckers should slow down their vehicles to ensure a safe journey.
Remember that, most truck accidents occur due to the negligence of the trucking company or the driver. If you have sustained injuries in a truck accident, seek help as soon as possible. The truck company so involved will act fast to gather evidence and reduce its losses. In such a situation, you may too need an expert by your side to protect your rights. An experienced car accident attorney can work in your best interest to help you recover your losses, either via a settlement claim or a lawsuit. At MANGAL, PLLC, our experienced truck accident lawyers have the skills and expertise to negotiate damages and get you the rightful compensation you deserve.