Statistics show that many truck accidents take place in rural areas, often on the weekends. Truck accidents cause nearly 5000 deaths across America each year, as well as billions of dollars in damage and many thousands of injuries. Accident reports state that the top reasons for truck accidents include:
1) Driver fatigue on the part of the truck driver. There are many regulations — including hours of service regulations — which ensure that truck drivers get adequate rest. Nevertheless, sleep apnea, illness, work pressures, tight deadlines, and a host of other reasons can cause a truck driver to be tired, and even to fall asleep at the wheel. While there’s not a great deal you can do to ensure that truck drivers get adequate rest, you can ensure that you yourself get plenty of sleep and rest before you drive. Driving tired — whether you drive a truck or a passenger vehicle — is always dangerous. Another thing you can do to help prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue is to write to your representatives and support legislation which encourages long rest periods for truck drivers.
2) Drugs and alcohol. Many accident reports show that truck driver errors are often caused by drugs and alcohol. Florida drunk driving accidents — whether they involve trucks or cars — steal far too many lives each year. If you see a truck driver driving erratically, contact your local authorities to report the problem. As well, never get behind the wheel if you have been drinking yourself.
3) Failure to follow the rules and regulations of the roads. Both truck drivers and passenger car drivers are responsible for accidents when they fail to obey traffic laws. Whether it’s speeding, obeying stop signs, or following proper rules for passing, merging, and turning, it’s important to get excellent driver training and to follow the rules at all times.
4) Improperly loaded and secured loads on trucks. Truck loads can be heavy, and if they are not loaded correctly and secured, they can roll around on the truck, increasing the chances of rollovers and causing a weight imbalance which can cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle. While there’s not a great deal you can do to ensure that carriers follow proper rules for loading and securing cargo, you can keep an eye on trucks on the road, avoiding any that seemed to be top-heavy or weaving.
5) Distracted driving. This is another problem for both truck drivers and passenger car drivers. Whether distracted driving is caused by changing a CD, using a mobile device while driving, or talking too animatedly with passengers, taking your eyes and mind off the road can be deadly. Commercial truck drivers are not permitted to use mobile devices while operating their vehicles. If you see any truck driver who’s driving unsafely because they are using a mobile device, pull over and record them to your local authorities.
If you have been injured in a Florida truck accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your case. Our compassionate and experienced legal team works out of offices in Homestead, Hollywood, and Miami, Florida to serve the entire South Florida community. You can reach someone 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you have been in an accident.