Big Trucks Can Cause Highway Hazards
There are many reasons why large truck accidents occur, but the majority of big rig crashes result from driver error. Large truck drivers who are fatigued, speeding, distracted, and careless put everyone on the roadway in danger. Tractor-trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which is 40 times heavier than a standard passenger car. When one of these massive vehicles is traveling at highway speeds, it is capable of crushing anything in its path.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, large commercial trucks account for approximately 500,000 traffic accidents annually and about 10 percent of those accidents result in at least one fatality. Typically, the more serious injuries are suffered by occupants of smaller vehicles and not by truck drivers who are better protected in their larger, heavier vehicles.
Forms of driver negligence that can result in a Florida truck accident include:
- Excessive speed: Large, heavy trucks are difficult to stop even at low speeds. When they are traveling at a high rate of speed, it may be impossible for the driver to maintain control to avoid a collision. Speeding is the cause of about 23 percent of all big rig crashes.
- Aggressive driving: Truck drivers who tailgate and weave through traffic are responsible for about 7 percent of all deadly truck accidents.
- Drug impairment: Prescription and illegal drugs contribute to approximately 26 percent of all truck accidents.
- Failure to check blind spots: There are large blind spots where vehicles are hard to see in front, behind and on the sides of long tractor-trailers. Drivers who fail to double-check these problem areas before turning or changing lanes are responsible for 14 percent of car-truck accidents.
- Fatigue: The government regulates the number of hours truck drivers can work without rest because drivers who are fatigued are more likely to fall asleep or lose focus. Drowsiness is the cause of up to 13 percent of truck crashes.
- Driver distraction: Truck drivers must keep their eyes on the road and off of phones and other distracting devices.
When you are driving near a large truck, make sure you leave plenty of room and avoid blind spots. If you can’;t see the driver’;s side mirrors, it is likely that the driver cannot see you. If you or a loved one is involved in a truck accident, please contact an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.