Many Florida truck accidents are caused by hazards on the road that are not recognized in time. In the trucking industry, hazards are defined as any situations or obstacles which could impede safe driving. When those hazards create the need for sudden action, they are defined as emergencies. Therefore, a car weaving up ahead may be a hazard for a truck driver, while a car cutting off a truck is generally an emergency as the truck driver may need to brake or swerve out of the way to avoid an accident.
Hazards are important in preventing truck accidents. Since trucks are larger and have slower response times than passenger cars, it is vital for truck drivers to anticipate hazards well in advance and respond accordingly. When truck drivers wait for hazards to become emergencies, they may simply not be able to respond in time to avoid a collision. Common hazards which truck drivers need to be aware of include:
1) Dangerous weather conditions. Conditions such as fog, strong winds, rain, and nighttime can affect visibility and can make road surfaces slippery. Strong winds can easily cause an emergency by blowing objects onto the road surface.
2) Dangerous road conditions. Obstacles on the road, poor paving, road work, and other hazards often pose a greater danger for passenger vehicles, as they often feel bumps and poor road surfaces more than larger trucks. Nevertheless, road conditions can cause trucks to lose control or rollover.
3) Other drivers. Aggressive or dangerous driving, speeding, fatigued drivers, and drunk drivers share the road with trucks each day. Truck drivers need to be aware of the red flag signs of dangerous drivers and need to be able to get out of the way in time.
4) Disabled cars, stopped buses, and stopped trucks. Cars left on the road – especially without emergency flashers – can be a severe hazard for truck drivers, who may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision unless they anticipate the hazard well in advance. A similar hazard are trucks and buses, which make frequent stops and may take up much of lane of traffic.
5) Pedestrians, workers, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Anyone on the road who is walking or riding a bike is harder to spot for a truck driver, especially at night. As well, pedestrians and bikers may be in spots where truck drivers do not expect them – such as weaving around traffic.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Florida, contact the Flaxman Law Group for a free initial consultation. We can discuss your case in our offices in Miami, Homestead, or Hollywood, or our legal team can meet you at your workplace, hospital room, or home. Learn about our experience and your rights.