Causes Of Florida Trucking Accidents
Approximately 5000 people die in semi-truck accidents each year in the United States. Most of those victims were in passenger cars and pickup trucks which were struck by a big rig. Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) rates a truck “Large” when its gross weight rating (GVWR) exceeds 10,000 pounds. 64 percent of major truck crashes with heavy fatalities involve tractor-trailer trucks that are pulling one trailer, 32 percent of those crashes involved single-unit trucks and fewer than 4 percent of those involved multi-trailer vehicles.
Since trucks are much larger than other vehicles on the road, when accidents occur, the results are usually fatal and tragic. No matter the circumstances surrounding the accident or what type of accident it is, it is very important that when they occur, you seek proper medical treatment and then speak to a knowledgeable attorney who is conversant with handling 18-wheeler accidents to protect your rights and interests.
Causes of Truck and Semi-Truck Accidents in Florida
Some of the major causes of Florida truck and semi-truck accidents include:
- Driver tiredness and fatigue: Despite federal regulations designed to prevent tired truck drivers, sleepy big-rig drivers are still on the road especially since a driver gets paid more money the more that they drive.
- Poor or faulty maintenance practices: Big rig tractor trailers travel tens of thousands of miles each year in this country. As a result, these 18-wheelers require frequent inspection, maintenance, and repair. Without adequate maintenance and repair, a big-rig may not be able to avoid slamming into the vehicle in front of it, a wheel end may disengage from an axle, or an approaching car may not see the truck’s tail or side lights until it is too late.
- Runaway trailers: While runaway trailer accident accidents may be fairly uncommon, trucking crashes caused by the disconnection of the trailer from the cab because related to hitches, couplers and chains do occur. In many instances, tractor-trailer accidents involving detached runaway trailers are caused by towing hitches that fail either because of defects or improper securing of the hitch.
- Overloaded trailers/ semi-trucks: Truck overloading is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. The illegal practice of truck overloading is done in an attempt to deliver more goods on a trip, increasing the amount of money made per trip. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association limits the amount of weight a trailer can be loaded to at 80,000 pounds. That’s still 16 times heavier than the average weight of a passenger vehicle. A legally loaded tractor trailer traveling at 60 miles per hour requires at least 350 feet to come to a complete stop. An overloaded trailer will take even longer to come to a complete stop. Overloaded trailers are more prone to jackknifing and other accidents.
- Jack-knifing: Jack Knife is a term that applies to the dangerous situation when a large 18-wheel truck and its trailer go into a skid and the trailer swings out and stops to form an angle of 90 degrees with each other. When a big-rig jackknifes the vehicle is likely to roll over. Generally, jackknifing occurs when the truck driver takes a curve too fast or swerves to avoid other vehicles.
- Driver error: This may be the most common cause of truck accidents. Speeding in regularly sized vehicles is dangerous, but a speeding truck that weights 80,000 pounds can have devastating and even fatal results.
Contact a Florida Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were involved in an accident with a large truck, you likely sustained many serious injuries and maybe even life changing disabilities. At the Dolman Law Group in Florida, our team of experienced truck accident lawyers have successfully helped many truck accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries and related losses. To make sure that you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled, it is important to have an experienced truck accident attorney handling your case. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756