Articles Posted in Truck Accident

Automobile accidents involving trucks and trailers are extremely dangerous. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 4,100 people were killed in large truck crashes last year. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has found that there were more than 500,000 crashes nationwide involving large trucks, with approximately 107,000 resulting in injuries. Big trucks and trailers are much larger than standard passenger vehicles, averaging 20 to 30 times bigger, creating massive crashes when they impact other vehicles. The difference in the size of the vehicles can prevent truck drivers from seeing smaller cars, while also resulting in more severe impact when crashes do occur. Most deaths in large truck crashes are from occupants of passenger vehicles. Of those killed in such accidents, roughly 82% are people in non-truck vehicles.

Florida is no exception to the truck crash trend, with the most common causes of large truck accidents being fatigue, distraction, substance-impaired driving, speeding, and aggressive overtaking. In certain Florida accident cases, punitive damage awards can increase the victim’s compensation significantly. Punitive damages require special permission from the court in addition to evidence that the defendant was grossly negligent or acted with intention or wanton disregard for the safety of others. In Florida, punitive damages are capped at triple the amount of the compensatory damages, resulting in extremely large awards when they are allowed. A recent local news article discussed a fatal Florida double-truck accident between two semi-trucks.

According to the local news article, the Florida Highway Patrol confirmed that there was a crash between two semi-trucks on I-10 at the 138-mile marker. The Florida Highway Patrol stated that a 60-year-old Niceville man stopped his semi-truck rig in the eastbound lane with the emergency flashers on due to a traffic buildup. At that point, a double-trailer UPS semi-truck smashed into the back of the stopped semi-truck in the eastbound lane. The Niceville driver died at the scene, while the UPS driver was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the reason for the collision is still unknown and is under investigation by law enforcement.

It is vital to take basic steps to protect yourself when you are driving. One simple thing you can do every time you drive is to ensure that you are wearing your seatbelt, especially when you’re in the front of the car. Seatbelts significantly decrease the risk of fetal injuries in the event of a crash, while forgoing a seatbelt while in a car can increase your risk of death in a car accident by as high as 45%. Thousands of drivers in Florida experience severe or fatal accidents annually due to their failure to wear seatbelts.

The danger of not wearing your seatbelt is compounded when a truck or other large vehicle is involved in the crash. Large commercial vehicles like trucks are on the road to transport heavy items over long distances. That means that trucks can become difficult to maneuver in emergency situations, preventing truck drivers from turning or stopping suddenly due to the weight of their vehicle and cargo. Additionally, truck drivers are under extreme pressure to spend long hours on the road, as they need to meet delivery deadlines. This can lead to exhaustion and impaired judgment on the roads. Tired drivers are more likely to make mistakes when driving, increasing the likelihood of accidents. A recent news article discussed a fatal Florida car and truck accident.

According to the news article, the accident occurred when a fully loaded semi-truck collided with a passenger vehicle in an Ocala intersection on Wednesday, February 22. Ocala Police officers responded to the crash. A witness stated that the semi-truck had a red light when it started blasting its air horn and proceeded into the intersection. The passenger vehicle had already begun to cross when the semi-truck tried to avoid a collision. The front of the semi-truck struck the car door and pushed it sideways into the median. According to authorities, the female driver of the passenger vehicle was trauma-alerted to a local hospital, where she passed away from her injuries.

Truck underride collisions are one of the deadliest types of automobile accidents on the road today. According to a report from Crash Forensics, truck underride collisions represent approximately one-quarter of the fatalities in accidents involving trucks. Due to the nature of underride accidents, even slow-speed collisions can be fatal for passenger-vehicle occupants. Truck underride collisions occur when a passenger vehicle crashes into a semi-truck trailer or a straight truck, resulting in the passenger vehicle running under the truck or trailer. Crashes, where the passenger vehicle passes under the truck or trailer, can often result in the car roof being sheared off, sometimes with fatal results. A recently published news article described such a crash in St. Johns County, Florida.

According to the news article, an 84-year-old man from St. Johns was killed Tuesday morning in an underride collision with a semi-truck and trailer. The accident occurred early in the morning of Tuesday, February 21, around 6:30 am. The crash happened on U.S. 1 at Pine Island Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, leaving all southbound lanes blocked on U.S. 1 for hours. According to the Florida Highway Patrol report, the man’s car drove under the side of a semi that was heading across the southbound lanes of US 1, attempting to cross the center median break to turn left onto northbound US 1. The car driver died at the scene, and the 26-year-old truck operator was unhurt. According to the report, both drivers were wearing their seatbelts.

Comparative negligence is the legal concept that parties in an accident are assigned the percentage of fault that they were responsible for in the accident. Under the pure comparative negligence theory, an accident victim can recover money from an equally or less negligent party. Under Florida law, accident victims can recover compensation from the other party, even if the victim is partially at fault, including fault that exceeds 51%. In practice, this means that even if the victim is found to be mostly at fault for an accident during a trial, they can still seek compensation for personal damages from the other party. If the claim is successful, the total damages awarded will be reduced by the victim’s percentage of fault. Although establishing fault in a car accident may seem straightforward, many factors could impact a victim’s recovery. An attorney can help accident victims at all stages of the claims process, including helping to gather evidence, leading settlement negotiations, litigating, and appealing.

Speeding is one of the top causes of car and traffic accidents. Driving at high speeds increases both the likelihood and the severity of car crashes. Driving at higher speeds makes it more difficult to react to changes or mistakes on the road. Additionally, higher speeds lead to more serious crashes when drivers do collide with other vehicles or obstacles. Unfortunately, Florida experiences extremely high levels of car accidents and auto fatalities. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV), in 2021, car accidents spiked throughout Florida after two straight years of decline. Throughout 2021, Florida saw 401,170 total car accidents. Additionally, approximately 40% of car accidents in Florida result in fatalities. Even more concerningly, according to the FDHSMV, fatal car accidents have been on the rise throughout the state. A recently published news article discusses a fatal crash in Miami.

According to the news article, the accident occurred late on the night of Sunday, December 11, around midnight. The crash happened just after midnight in the area of Southwest 22nd Avenue and Southwest 17th Street. A tow truck collided with a Honda CR-V. The CRV skidded about 83 feet before hitting a curb and flipping onto the driver’s side before skidding another 57 feet and coming to a stop. The CR-V then became engulfed in flames. The driver of the CR-V was a 69-year-old Miami-Dade College sign language professor.

The driver of the tow truck was taken into custody at the scene after performing roadside exercises. He refused to consent to a breath sample, and a warrant was executed for blood to be drawn. Blood was drawn 4.5 hours after the crash and came back negative for drugs or alcohol. According to the arrest report, the tow truck had a flashing light and an audible siren activated while it was traveling at a high speed in a residential area when it collided with the CR-V. Witnesses stated that the tow truck was weaving and passing slower-moving vehicles. The posted speed limit is 35 mph in that zone, but the tow truck data showed it was going 81 mph roughly three seconds before the crash, according to the arrest report.

Recently, a Florida court ruled on an appeal involving severe injuries that occurred in a truck parking lot. Originally, the lower court had decided that the company that owned the lot was not responsible for injuries suffered by the plaintiff. Reviewing this decision, the higher court agreed, ultimately denying the plaintiff’s appeal.

Facts of the Case

According to the opinion, the defendants in this case owned a commercial parking lot that contained crushed concrete and was used as a spot for large commercial trucks to park. Owners of these trucks could pay a monthly fee and keep their vehicles in the lot. The lease agreements said that no oil changes or engine work could be performed on the lot, but that emergency repairs were acceptable.

Despite this prohibition, truck owners would still occasionally perform mechanical repairs on the lot. On January 23, 2016, the plaintiff in this case came to the lot and noticed that others were working on trucks that day. He saw no signs prohibiting mechanical work, so he began working on his own vehicle.

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Truck accidents are a common everyday occurrence and can, unfortunately, lead to not only road closures, but devastating injuries for the parties involved. In 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,005 people killed and an estimated 159,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks. NHTSA also found that approximately 10 percent of combination truck occupant (commonly known as semi-trucks or trucks with one or more trailers) fatalities are associated with jackknifing.

Jackknifing is a term that is used to describe a situation where a large truck skids and the trailer attached to the truck swings, or folds in an angle that resembles a folding pocket knife. Jackknifing accidents are considered one of the most common types of trucking accidents and can be caused by various factors. These factors may include, but are not limited to, speeding, turning too quickly, improper loading, or driving in bad weather conditions when there are slippery roads.

For example, in a recent news report, a big rig was traveling in the center lane when a tractor-trailer hit the left rear of another big rig in the outside lane. As a result, the first big rig jackknifed in the center and outside lanes, while the second big rig ended up in the outside lane and shoulder. The driver of one of the big rigs was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, while the driver of the other big rig had minor injuries.

While the trucking industry throughout the country is consistently growing, the increasing presence of the online marketplace in combination with the pandemic has resulted in significant truck transport. Although trucking transport is a preferable way of shipping goods, the demand has brought on a surge in Florida trucking accidents. There has been an over 50% rise in truck accidents over the last decade, and various agencies that study truck accident statistics report that truck accidents will likely become the fifth largest cause of death in the country. Currently, nearly 75% of fatal vehicle accidents involve a large truck.

For instance, an Associated Press article described a harrowing, deadly Florida truck accident. According to reports, a tractor-trailer slammed into a vehicle on U.S. 27. The vehicle was carrying two adults and seven children. A teenage boy in the vehicle died, and six children suffered injuries. The truck driver sustained minor injuries in the accident.

Statistics by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that Florida is one of ten states that comprise half of all deadly truck accidents in the country every year. While truck accidents occur all over the state, certain areas such as Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakeland, Auburndale, and Naples have a higher rate of truck accidents. Moreover, the research suggests that driver error was responsible for over 90% of truck accidents. At the same time, road conditions and defective vehicles account for around 6% of truck accidents.

Florida lane change accidents refer to instances when a driver leaves their travel lane without a clear path to enter another lane. According to research by the International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences and AAA Foundation, many factors contribute to lane change accidents. The most severe lane change accidents typically involve large trucks with a vehicle weight rating exceeding 10,000 pounds. A recent study indicated that large trucks drove approximately 280 billion miles on U.S roads in the last reporting year and were involved in over 400,000 collisions. These crashes resulted in 116,000 injuries and over 4,000 fatalities. Individuals who have suffered injuries in a Florida accident should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.

Studies investigated how contributing factors affect the likelihood of a lane-change accident. Driver errors such as speeding, tailgating, impairment, and mobile device usage account for over 90% of traffic accidents. Until recently, researchers have not given the same amount of attention to studying how unsafe lane changes impact the likelihood of an accident. Lane-change crashes represent about 4% of all collisions, and they tend to occur during the daytime on roads with a wide range of speed limits. Some studies have shown that the frequency of looking towards mirrors varies between young and older drivers. Younger drivers tend to rotate their heads wider when observing their blind spots. Further, older drivers tend to inspect their rear-view mirrors less frequently. In addition, the vehicle making the lane change also impacts the severity of an accident.

Naturally, a vehicle’s size will impact the severity of an accident. In response to the growing concern surrounding Florida truck lane change accidents, safety advocates urge trucking companies to install lane departure warning systems. Large trucks cause many accidents every year, and these video-based systems may prevent nearly 300 deaths every year.

Whether it’s just a small fender bender or a serious crash that stops traffic for hours, car accidents are usually an extremely stressful event for everyone involved. When car accidents involve multiple vehicles and a series of collisions, however, the stress and danger of the situation are amplified. These types of collisions, otherwise known as Florida chain-reaction car accidents, occur when they involve three or more vehicles and can often have devastating consequences.

In a recent news article, a deadly multi-vehicle truck accident shut down a major Florida highway. The collision involved a rolled-over cement truck and several other trucks along a significant stretch of the road. According to local authorities, there is at least one confirmed death following the accident.

In Florida, chain reaction accidents are all too common. Following these collisions, figuring out how the accident actually took place is rarely simple or straightforward. If there were multiple drivers involved, it immediately becomes complicated as parties try to determine who hit who and what was the actual cause of the accident. These determinations are often messy and may require a professional accident reconstruction expert or team to assess the issue or conduct an investigation before moving forward.

Federal and state laws mandate that car and SUV manufacturers equip their vehicles with safety features to prevent serious injuries. However, despite the heightened dangers of large commercial trucks, many of these vehicles do not have the same safety features. Further, the safety standards do not always address the scope of the vehicle’s dangers. As such, Florida accidents involving large trucks often result in serious and fatal injuries.

For example, a recent Florida news report described a disturbing underride accident involving a minivan and tractor-trailer. The accident occurred when the semi-truck was turning onto a roadway near State Road 520. The minivan was turning at the same time and went underneath the truck. Emergency personnel immediately removed two of the minivan occupants and transported them to a hospital. The minivan driver required assistance from firefighters to extricate her from her vehicle. State Police reported that the accident is still under investigation.

Many Florida trucking collisions involve underride accidents. An underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle slams into the side or backend of a truck’s trailer and slides underneath. The shape and design of the back of a truck often cause a smaller vehicle to become trapped underneath. The sheer impact of these accidents may result in the top of the car ripping off or becoming crushed. As a result, the car’s occupants often suffer the brunt of the initial impact. Underride accident victims rarely leave the accident unscathed. These accidents typically result in traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, sprained and broken bones, paralysis, and disfigurement.

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