Causes of Florida Trucking Accidents
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), trucking accidents occur when large trailers of 10,000 pounds or more get into accidents. About 500,000 trucking accidents happen each year in the United States. Approximately 5,000 trucking accidents result in fatalities, with one out of every eight traffic fatalities involving a trucking collision.
Florida is one of the top ten states in trucking fatalities with 183 deaths from trucking accidents in 2012, making it third in the nation for fatal trucking accidents. Trucking accidents may occur because of driver error, equipment failures, or natural causes. Knowing your rights after a trucking accident can help you or a loved one recover damages.
Top Causes of Florida Trucking Accidents
There are several causes of trucking accidents. While drivers cannot always avoid natural causes such as rain or snow, responsibilities such as vehicle maintenance and driver behavior are critical roles for safety. The second most common cause of trucking accidents is failure of equipment due to inadequate maintenance. Defective tires, improperly maintained brakes, and not providing reverse-detection warning devices are all causes of trucking accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) expects truckers and trucking companies to do pre-trip inspections as well as regular inspections and maintenance of trucks throughout the year.
Truck driver behavior, in addition to regular truck maintenance, is critical to safety. Drivers should properly train and be licensed to drive their vehicles. This includes not only standard trucking preparation, but also understanding of defensive driving and safety concerns. Knowing how to safely load the truck, being aware of not overloading the truck, and knowing how to secure the truck from cargo loss is essential. It is just as important to understand and carry out safe driver behavior. Driver fatigue and using alcohol or drugs while driving are dangers that truckers should be aware of and avoid. Trucking companies too should be aware of these issues and have policies that give truckers ample time to rest during long hauls to avoid accident liabilities. Other driver reasons for trucking accidents are texting, speeding, and being unfamiliar with the area.
Liability for Florida Trucking Accidents
Assigning liabilities for trucking accidents depends on the causes. Manufacturers may be liable for faulty equipment such as tires or brakes. Drivers have liabilities if they have behaviors such as intoxication, fatigue, or speeding. Companies may have liabilities if their policies press drivers to cut maintenance or to not get enough rest, especially if drivers are pressured to falsify trucking logs about rest periods. Both drivers and companies should be aware and follow safety rules to avoid liabilities.
The lawyers at Farah & Farah are ready to help you if you or a loved one has suffered from a trucking accident. Please contact us at (800) 533-3555.