Accidents involving large commercial trucks are much more likely to cause serious injury or death than crashes involving other motor vehicles. Commercial trucking makes up about seven percent of the miles driven on American roads, yet it accounts for 12 percent of traffic fatalities. As you might expect, it’s the drivers and passengers in the cars who suffer the vast majority of injuries when they collide with large trucks. In fact, 98% of the people killed in trucking accidents are occupants of the car and not the truck.
Trucking is vital to our economy and can be practiced safely, but negligence on the part of truckers and trucking companies is often the cause of serious and deadly truck accidents. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Broward County truck accident, contact the skilled lawyer David M. Benenfeld to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a crash; the longer you wait, the harder it is to gain evidence and prove your case.
What are some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Broward County?
Let’s look at some of the reasons truck accidents happen. Some of the most common causes of accidents involving trucks include:
Driver fatigue – Truck drivers are limited by federal law in the number of hours they can drive without taking a rest or significant time off, but the presence of these rules doesn’t keep truckers from driving longer than they are allowed and hiding their violations by falsifying driving records and logs. Even when they comply with the rules, truckers can legally work 14-hour days with 11 of those hours behind the wheel, working 60 or 70 hours for seven or eight days in a row before taking as little as 36 hours off. Truck driver fatigue, including falling asleep at the wheel, is a serious problem, but truckers and their employers are constantly under pressure to drive as much as they can to meet their schedules.
Overloaded and/or oversized trucks – Overloaded trucks can cause tires and brakes to fail at critical moments on the highway. Trailers that are improperly loaded can become loose or unbalanced during travel, causing loss of control, loss of the load, or vehicle rollover. Oversized trucks are especially hazardous due to their increased blind spots, limited maneuverability and need for additional stopping distance and reaction time.
Improper truck maintenance – Government agencies conduct a round of roadside inspections every year. Despite having plenty of advance notice when these inspections will occur, trucking companies continue to send their trucks on the road with bad tires, bad brakes, non-working signal lights and lack of safety equipment. Inspectors immediately pull thousands of 18-wheelers off the road every year due to imminent safety concerns.
Inadequate driver training – Inexperienced or untrained drivers can make serious mistakes when it comes to judging stopping distance, taking corners, or driving aggressively around other vehicles. Both the trucker and trucking company can be liable for crashes caused by rookie mistakes.
Speeding – Speeding is a leading cause of all motor vehicle crashes, including car accidents as well as truck accidents. Truckers don’t speed because they are impatient or just like to drive fast. Truck drivers and their employers have a financial incentive to drive faster than the law allows to deliver their goods on time or ahead of schedule, even if driving faster than is safe.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – Like any other driver, truck drivers can get behind the wheel after they have had too much to drink, not appreciating the fact that their driving is impaired or believing they can drive safely if they just concentrate. The sad tale of drunk driving vehicle accidents tells otherwise. Truck drivers may be especially prone to consume alcohol to relieve the boredom of long hours on the road, and they may also be tempted to take over-the-counter or illegal stimulants to stay awake and drive longer. Studies have shown such stimulants actually decrease alertness and attention, and drivers who mask their fatigue with pills will eventually pay a toll for their sleep deficits. Other innocent drivers on the road may pay the price as well.
Get the Care and Compensation You Need After a Sunrise Truck Accident
Contact our offices today if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a big rig or semi-truck. You’ll need medical care and compensation for your injuries, and you’ll need the help of an experienced Sunrise truck accident lawyer with the skills, resources and determination to go up against giant trucking companies and their insurers and get results. Call 954-807-1334 to talk to an experienced truck accident attorney at The Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld P.A.