Truck Accidents and Their Causes

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The overwhelming majority of trucking accidents that occur are the result of a mistake committed by the semi-truck driver. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) 62% of all trucking accidents are the results of truck driver error. There are many issues that contribute to trucking accidents and the enormous consequences it has on victims and their families.

Common Reasons for Truck Accidents

There are a multitude of reasons in which an accident can occur, below are some of the more common.

  1. Deadlines for delivering goods from one destination to another. All semi-truck drivers have stringent deadlines. Delivering their payloads within a narrow window of time can lead to poor decisions. This can lead to the truck driver speeding to their delivery destination or spend extended hours behind the wheel with little to no sleep.
  2. Weight and Payload Size. The size and weight of the load carried by many of these trucks can make driving these large rigs extremely difficult. With their excessive weight, it can make stopping that much more challenging. To stop a fully loaded truck going 60 mph it will take a distance of 335 feet or roughly the length of one football field.
  3. Severe Weather (Wind & Rain). Strong wind, heavy rain, sleet, snow, etc… can all lead to severe road conditions. These conditions can lead to a driver losing control of their truck.
  4. Blind Spots. Blind spots on these large semi-trucks can inhibit the driver’s vision, making other vehicles difficult to spot when changing lanes. Also bulky loads of flatbed trucks can impede a trucks driver’s vision when changing lanes.
  5. Slower Traffic. Slower traffic on our highways causes impatient drivers. Truck drivers going faster than the flow of traffic, will constantly change lanes creating dangerous driving conditions. They will tend to tail other cars, not leaving enough room for braking or lane changing when speeding.
  6. Mechanical Issues. The average truck driver will travel 100,000+ miles per year. This can lead to mechanical problems, wear and tear and defective tires.
  7. Unlicensed Drivers. Individuals, who rent moving trucks, are not typically proficient in handling a vehicle of that size, which can lead to mistakes and accidents.
  8. Distracted Truck Drivers. With smart phones and electronic devices, truck drivers can get distracted

Truck Accident Injuries

Most accidents that occur between a vehicle (car, pick-up truck, motorcycle, etc..) and a semi-truck are catastrophic. With a typical semi-truck being able to haul (80,000 lbs), or over 20-30 times more than the average vehicle, any impact with a semi-truck can lead to catastrophic injuries or even death. A typically vehicle is designed to withstand impacts with other vehicles of equal size. However regardless of how well the car is made, the overwhelming force generated when a semi-truck collides with another vehicle is devastating. Every year there are over 77,000 injuries involving accidents with semi-trucks and almost 5,000 deaths.

How to Avoid an Accident With a Semi-Truck

There are over 11 million semi-trucks operating in the U.S. They transfer over 80% of all of our freight throughout the U.S. With this amount of volume semi-trucks are a main staple on our highways and roads. Since it is extremely common to drive alongside these trucks, below are some driving tips that will make your drive safer when sharing the road with truck drivers.

  1. DO NOT DRAFT- drafting is when you position your vehicle extremely close the back of the semi-truck in front of you. This has been known to help with gas efficiency; however you risk limited reaction time in the event the semi-truck stops abruptly.
  2. Be Cautious When Passing on The Right- Semi-truck drivers have limited vision to the right of their vehicle, always be cautious when passing them.
  3. Turn Signals- Always use turn signals to display your intentions to pass a truck.
  4. Quick Stops- Always be cautious when getting in front of a truck as you will want to leave adequate room with the vehicle in front of you. This way if the vehicle in front makes a quick stop, you do not have to slam on your brakes. Trucks take 40% longer to stop than a car. You might have plenty of room to stop, however the truck behind you might not have enough room or time to avoid a collision.

Hiring a Truck Accident Lawyer in Jacksonville

Trucking accidents are multifaceted and involve many parties. Due to the complicated nature of a truck accident it is important that you seek legal advice from an experienced truck accident attorney in Jacksonville. Wood, Atter & Wolf have been representing victims of semi-truck accidents for over 50 years. If you or a loved one has been injured or you recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence contact us today for a free consultation (904) 355-8888.

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