Our Lakeland truck accident lawyer regularly receives calls about serious crashes that have forever changed the lives of victims or the lives of loved ones. Alarming statistics paint a vivid picture of what can happen in these types of crashes, even if you drive defensively.
National and State Statistics on Truck Accidents
According to the federal government, nearly 317,000 traffic accidents of all types occurred in 2013. Medium and heavy trucks made up 20,773 of the accidents, while pick-up trucks accounted for 57,171 of the crashes. During the same year, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that just over 3,800 large trucks had accidents in the state.
Our truck accident law firm realizes that most commercial truck drivers go through extensive training. However, accidents still occur for various reasons, including a lack of training, pressure to perform behind the wheel, driving excessive hours and overly high expectations from employers that increase accident risks. Our Lakeland injury attorneys have represented many clients in all types of trucking accidents who have been the victims of careless or negligent drivers.
Reasons for Truck Accidents from a Lakeland Truck Accident Lawyer
Trucking accidents, involving both big rigs and passenger trucks, happen for numerous reasons. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration groups these reasons into several general categories and then classifies them into more detailed causes. These groups include the following:
- Non-performance – The driver could not fulfill his or her duties as a motorist. Examples include falling asleep, suffering a seizure or dealing with another type of physical impairment.
- Recognition – The motorist failed to pay attention or became distracted, possibly due to texting while driving or receiving a phone call.
- Decision-making skills – The driver exercised poor judgment, such as speeding, turning into oncoming traffic or failing to leave enough space between the truck and another vehicle.
- Performance – The driver overreacted, panicked, failed to control the vehicle or overcompensated.
Associated Factors for Trucking Accidents
The FMCSA further lists related factors involved in auto accidents involving big-rig trucks, from most common to least common:
- Inadequate awareness of surroundings
- Over-the-counter drug use
- Failure to stop or yield the right of way
- Road problems, such as construction
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Traveling too fast for conditions, especially in poor weather
- Prescription drug use
- Traffic flow interruption, such as congestion or a previous crash and
Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents
Federal law requires trucking companies to maintain strict standards when it comes to hiring a driver. Employers are required to ensure their drivers are fit and fully qualified to get behind the wheel. If they fail to do so, they can be held liable for damages caused by their drivers.
Learn more about trucking companies’ duty to hire safe drivers
Size and weight are the biggest factors when it comes to an accident between an 18 wheeler and a passenger vehicle. What might be only a minor accident between two passenger cars can quickly turn into a tragedy when a big rig is involved.
Read more about the differences between truck accidents and car accidents
In short, NO! At Rivas Law Group, we advise clients who have been injured in truck accidents not to sign any agreements or give a recorded statement to the defendants’ insurance company.
There is no law in Florida that requires you to give a statement to the trucking driver’s insurance company after an accident, and there are many good reasons NOT to do so.
Learn about why you shouldn’t give a recorded statement to the insurance company after a Florida truck accident
Suggestions for Keeping Safe when Sharing the Road with Trucks
Drivers who share the road with big rigs should take preventative measures in order to keep themselves and their passengers safe and in order to possibly prevent truck accident lawsuits. Our Lakeland truck accident attorney recommends the following:
- Change lanes carefully and cautiously.
- Take your time when merging into traffic; don’t race a truck or try to beat it when merging.
- Stay out of the trucker’s blind spots.
- Give enough room when passing.
- Avoid driving between two or more commercial vehicles, and give them plenty of space.
- Use common courtesy when sharing the road with trucks.
- Exercise defensive driving and common road safety techniques.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, contact our Lakeland truck accident lawyer today for a free consultation. We have represented many clients in all types of trucking accidents who have been the victims of careless or negligent drivers.