According to Road Safe America, an advocacy group aiming to reduce the number of trucking accidents across the country, 5000 Americans die as a result of truck accidents each year. Florida is considered one of the states with the highest rate of truck accidents in the nation. Many years, Florida is second only to Texas in the number of fatal truck accidents it sees.
Truck accidents have a high rate of fatalities because a fully-loaded commercial truck can weigh 20 times what the typical passenger car weighs. In a collision at high speeds, especially, the car and its passengers can be crushed. In addition to fatalities, however, trucking accidents also cause serious injuries, including spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, burn injuries, and many other types of injuries. Many people have had their lives permanently devastated by a truck accident.
The American Trucking Association reports that the US has more than 3,000,000 commercial truck drivers and more than 500,000 commercial carriers. Each of these drivers and truck carriers share the road with much smaller cars. It is important to ensure that carriers and drivers alike are held responsible for their behavior on the road and for the condition of the trucks they drive.
Some groups claim that up to 30% of the commercial trucks on the road are carrying a load that exceeds safe weight limits. The penalties for violations of weight rules are quite low in Florida. In some cases, a truck that is carrying an overweight load pays only a $100 fine. For a commercial truck, the potential fine is much smaller than the possible profit in carrying more goods.
In addition to excess weight , advocacy groups are concerned about the speeds that drivers are allowed to travel. To make deadlines and to improve profitability, some drivers drive over the speed limit in their semis and rigs. In a trucking accident, high speeds can cause dangerous rollovers. In a truck-vehicle collision, high truck speeds can be a death sentence for the passengers in the vehicle. Road Safe America and other groups have advocated the use of speed governors, a low-cost solution to ensure that all trucks remain within speed limits.
In addition to these issues, many truck accidents are caused by driver or mechanical failure. While many drivers are quite responsible, some truck drivers do drive under the influence or drive while fatigued, increasing the chances of an accident. Not all commercial carriers are as scrupulous about the mechanical condition of their trucks, either. Lack of adequate inspections and lack of proper maintenance do lead to trucking accidents. Many things can malfunction in a truck, including service brakes, trailer break connections, lights, windshield wipers, mirrors, chains and straps, parking and hand brakes, horns, steering, and truck tires. Any such malfunction can lead to an accident.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a trucking accident, call the Flaxman Law Group at 1 866 Flaxman (1 866 352 9626). Our team of compassionate, experienced South Florida personal injury attorneys have successfully handled many trucking accident cases and we can help you through the difficult time after an accident. The Flaxman Law Group even provides a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation. This consultation is an opportunity to ask questions and get legal advice without having to commit to a course of action or a large fee. It’s an excellent way to get some answers at a time when you may need support and assistance.