Although commercial trucks and buses represent only 4% of all registered vehicles on the road, they account for 13% of all accidents and 13% of road crash deaths. These collisions, due to the size of trucks, cause devastating injury and even fatalities. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and passenger car drivers have little chance in a crash involving a fully-loaded commercial truck.
While truck accidents do occur more often than collisions involving other types of vehicles, however, the fault is not necessarily that of truck drivers. Poor lighting was listed as a contributing factor in 43% of pedestrian-truck accidents in 2013 while 22.5% of pedestrians were under the influence of drugs and 20.1% were under the influence of alcohol. In about 14.5% of fatal accidents involving a pedestrian, truck driver distraction was listed as a cause.
Reducing Truck Accident Risk
The FMSCA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has suggested improving safety for all road users in a number of ways:
1) Separate traffic on the streets from bicycles and pedestrians by offering different travel areas.
The FMSCA has suggested including bright paint or barriers to keep these road users separate. Keeping pedestrians, bicyclists, and truckers separate can ensure that pedestrians and bicyclists are not in truck drivers’ blind spots. It can also help prevent many accidents involving these more vulnerable road users.
2) Offer more police training so law enforcement officers do not hesitate to pull over commercial vehicles.
Training can also help police learn what they should be looking for when they pull a truck driver over. Proper law enforcement training would teach police how to read trucking logs and manifests and also give them the confidence to pull over trucks driving recklessly.
3) Encourage better driver training and education for passenger car drivers.
Unfortunately, passenger car drivers are frequently the ones making errors which lead to trucking collisions. In some cases, passenger car drivers weave around trucks, tailgate them, or otherwise don’t leave enough room around tractor trailers and commercial vehicles. Educating passenger car drivers about proper driving near and around trucks can help prevent many types of collisions.
4) Better training and education for cyclists.
Cyclists are especially vulnerable in a collision involving a truck. Teaching bicyclists about the importance of maintaining safe distance and staying out of trucking drivers’ blind spots can help bicyclists stay safer on the roads.
If you have been injured in a truck collision in Hollywood, Homestead, or in any Southern Florida community, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. Our team is always standing by to offer legal support and representation. We have already helped thousands of plaintiffs like you secure settlements and court wins. In fact, our team is proud of having secured tens of millions of dollars for plaintiffs who have been injured. Contact our law offices today to find out what we can do for you.