What You Should Know About Truck Accidents in Florida
Operators of large trucks and certain transport vehicles are required to obtain a specialized commercial driver’s license before driving on Florida roadways. Typically, vehicles that weigh over 26,000 pounds, carry 15 or more passengers, or haul hazardous materials may only be operated by an operator with a commercial driver’s license. Commercial drivers undergo additional training and evaluation before being granted a commercial driver’s license, including tests for general knowledge, equipment performance, basic skills, and endorsement specific exams. Commercial drivers must also pass the CDL road test to ensure they are road worthy.
Commercial Truck Accidents in Florida
Despite the additional safety and operational training required of commercial drivers, trucks and other heavy vehicles are involved in thousands of accidents every year in Florida causing injury and sometimes death to those on the wrong end of a truck accident. Last year there were approximately 34,000 accidents involving commercial vehicles in Florida, resulting in about 10,000 injuries and approximately 200 fatalities. Because of the typical size of commercial vehicles, the severity of damage and injury involved in a commercial vehicle accident can be significant.
Negligence of Commercial Drivers
Commercial drivers have a duty of reasonable care similar to other non-commercial drivers when operating heavy trucks on Florida roadways. When commercial truck drivers breach this responsibility, accidents happen. Severe injuries resulting from commercial truck accidents often occur from common driver errors relating to the operation or condition of the commercial vehicle. Five common mistakes made by truck drivers and commercial vehicle operators that often lead to motor vehicle accidents include:
- driver fatigue from driving too many hours in a single or consecutive shift;
- equipment violations from failing to maintain the vehicle in good repair;
- blind spots created by mirror positioning and vehicle size;
- violation of traffic laws and speed limits applicable to heavy vehicles; and
- load shifting or improper loading.
These common errors can be avoided; however, all too often drivers fail to exercise the care required to ensure they are well prepared to operate a commercial truck or that the condition of their commercial vehicle is in compliance with applicable law and transportation regulations. Third party shippers are also sometimes to blame because of improper loading of cargo within the commercial vehicle trailer. When cargo is improperly loaded, cargo can shift in transit and cause the commercial truck to become unbalanced, which can cause the truck to sway, turn over, or otherwise steer out of control.
Injured in a Truck Accident?
If you or someone that you know has been injured by a careless or negligent commercial truck driver near Tampa, Orlando, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, or West Palm Beach you may have a right to compensation. Truck accidents can require experience with the transportation industry, including drive time guidelines, vehicle inspection requirements, and industry standards for cargo loading and transportation. Get the help of the experienced truck accident lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm who know how to aggressively pursue your case against a negligent commercial driver and get the compensation you deserve. Contact the office today for a confidential consultation regarding the circumstances of your injuries.