According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reports, in 2021, there were 41,828 commercial vehicle crashes in Florida, including 248 fatalities and 4,433 injuries.
These statistics show how deadly truck accident situations can be. But most of the truck accidents that occur on the streets and highways of Florida are preventable. Many truck accidents happen due to hasty and careless decisions made by truckers and trucking companies that employ them. In many instances, these accidents occur because of defective equipment or non-maintenance of roads by the state or federal government and its contractors.
If you have recently suffered in a truck accident in Orlando or anywhere in Florida, our experienced Orlando Car Accident Attorney can help you investigate the crash.
Here are a few common causes of truck accidents in Florida. As we are all in for safe driving, we believe identifying the causes and taking precautionary measures will help reduce the number of truck accidents occurring.
A standard truck can weigh over 80,000 pounds and run 74 feet long. A driver at the wheels of this big vehicle needs time and distance to stop and avoid collisions with the cars and objects it encounters on the road. However, if the driver is exceeding speed limits or driving too fast for the road, he might not be able to stop the vehicle in time. Additionally, a speeding driver can easily lose control of his vehicle at urgent times. It’s no surprise, thus, that according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), speeding is the leading driver-related factor in car crashes.
A fatigued diver may fall asleep or may lack the mental alertness to navigate the 18-wheeler safely. Keeping this fact in mind, the FMCSA introduced the hours-of-service regulations. These regulations limit the number of hours that property-carrying and passenger-carrying vehicles’ drivers spend the time on the road. It also mandates rest breaks for drivers. Additionally, a driver must document their hours in logbooks. Any driver failing to abide by the rules can be held liable for negligent driving. If a trucking company forced a driver to break the rules, it may serve as a ground for punitive damages.
If a driver texts or surfs the internet while driving, it results in distraction and is one of the major causes of truck accidents in Florida. In such cases, the driver may fail to see an intersection, a vehicle, or a pedestrian crossing the road, which may result in a severe truck accident. To prevent this from happening, the FMCSA regulations prohibit truck drivers from texting while driving. Drivers can also not reach out for their mobile phones. They can only use a mobile phone if it’s under reach and use a headset or other hands-free device to use it.
For more information regarding truck accidents and the rules, you can always connect with an experienced Florida Truck Accident Attorney for details.
Any driver is dangerous under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, or certain prescription medications. The situation can turn nasty if the driver is moving a truck. It requires a high degree of precision and the right mind to be able to focus and navigate the massive 18-wheeler safely. This is one reason why Florida, like most states, makes it illegal for a commercial truck driver to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04 or higher when operating the vehicle. FMCSA also requires trucking companies to conduct pre-employment and random testing of their drivers for drug or alcohol use.
Negligent Inspection and Maintenance
It’s the responsibility of every trucking company to routinely inspect, repair, and maintain the vehicles in its fleet. The company must also properly document the checkup and maintenance of its vehicles. Truckers must also submit a post-trip vehicle inspection report. Failing to follow these rules by truckers and trucking companies may result in dangerous vehicles trading the roads, including those with faulty brakes, worn tires, and improper safety equipment.
Truck accidents are common but not unpreventable. Following the rules and regulations set forth by the guiding authorities and abiding by the traffic rules are great ways to prevent these unfortunate incidents. Discussed above are the most common causes of truck accidents in Florida. Being aware, alert, and following the safety guidelines helps prevent truck accidents to a great extent. However, if you or your loved ones have been injured in a truck accident, you can always connect with our Orlando Car Accident Attorney at Louis Berk Law for the best legal guidance.