Sharing the road with large commercial trucks can be frightening. If you have ever pulled up to a semi in a sedan and felt vulnerable, that sentiment is entirely justified. Large trucks outweigh passenger cars by at least twenty times, and often more. These massive vehicles take longer to stop and are a challenge to maneuver, even on highway ramps where many commercial vehicles frequently travel. When large trucks are involved in collisions, the truck drivers often walk away, even from incidents that are deadly for others. Sadly, accidents involving large trucks are increasing in America, even as most types of car crashes are dropping. Both truck occupants and people in other vehicles involved in crashes with large trucks died in larger numbers in 2019 than in 2018. Large truck collisions kill thousands of people every year, and about two in three of those individuals are people in passenger vehicles. Pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists all also account for a percent of the victims.
If you were injured in a crash involving a large truck, the consequences are likely devastating. You might be entitled to collect compensation for your injuries and property damages, as well as for your pain and suffering. To learn more about your rights after a large truck collision, contact the Durham Law Group. Our Tampa, Florida, based-attorneys can help you navigate the legal system and fully understand all of your rights and options. Call us today at 813-333-6250 for a free consultation with one of our dedicated Tampa truck accident attorneys.
Drivers in Large Trucks
Large trucks present many risks to others on the road. The vehicles themselves are undeniably hazardous to every other driver, passenger, motorcyclist, and pedestrian on the road. One small error as a driver near one of these vehicles can result in fatal consequences. However, the trucks themselves are not the only risk-factor presented by commercial trucks. Drivers operating these vehicles are pressured to work for long hours. The legal shift for a long-haul trucker is eleven hours. Do eleven hours of operating a multi-ton piece of metal at highway speeds sound exhausting and risky to you? It likely should. In fact, studies show that after eight hours behind the wheel of a big rig, the chances of a driver being in a crash increase by double. Fatigue makes driving dangerous even for people operating small cars, let alone those driving semis.
Of course, the pressure to make their routes and cover great distances sometimes leads drivers to use drugs to stay awake longer or falsify records to drive more than legally permitted. Such violations will work against a defendant in the event of a lawsuit.
Large Trucks and Maintenance Issues and Design Flaws
In many cases, large trucks that were involved in crashes tend to have defects. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, brake defects are the most common issue with trucks. Of course, given the massive size of trucks, these vehicles already take a long amount of time to come to a complete stop. Add bad weather, poorly maintained roads, and faulty brakes to the mix, and the consequences can be devastating. Steering column issues are another common flaw in trucks.
Even trucks that are designed to meet regulations can create dangers for others on the road. Underride crashes kill hundreds of people every year. These horrific collisions take place when a car travels under the trailer of a truck. Given the height of truck trailers, the front of a car can travel beneath the trailer, and the impact will occur at the level of the vehicle’s cabin. The consequences are often fatal, and in gruesome examples, end in the individuals in the smaller vehicle being decapitated. The most frustrating factor regarding underride crashes is that there are ways to prevent such incidents. Rear underride guards must be used on modern truck trailers to prevent vehicles from traveling beneath the truck. Side underride rails also exist and can prevent many of these fatal crashes. The reason such guards are not often used comes down to costs. Sadly, even the requirements for underride guards on the rear of trucks are often not strong enough for modern vehicles. Many safety advocates believe that the guards need to be updated to reflect realistic crashes on the road today.
Negligence and Liability in Truck Crashes
In order to successfully sue another driver, you will have to show that the other motorist behaved negligently and that you were injured as a result. Driver negligence occurs when a person fails to behave as a reasonably prudent person. Importantly, in Florida, it is possible to recover from your injuries even if you are partly at fault. To learn more about your legal options, contact a Tampa, Florida truck crash attorney.
Call the Durham Law Group Today After a Tampa Truck Accident
At the Durham Law Group, our dedicated personal Tampa truck accident attorneys understand the importance of your car crash claim. Car accidents are often devastating for the victims and their families. Recovering compensation can help to reduce the burden of those harms and let you focus on how to heal. Call us today at 813-333-6250 to speak to one of our compassionate Tampa, Florida, truck accident attorneys.