There are Almost 2 Million Semi Trucks Operating in the United States
One-third of all semi trucks are registered in Florida, Texas and California. Not surprisingly, Florida, Texas and California lead the nation in trucking accidents. Trucks are responsible for the transportation of nearly 70% of all goods in the United States and collectively travel about 140 billion miles per year. Obviously, semi trucks are a necessary component of the economy, but when trucks are involved in accidents the results can be catastrophic. Unfortunately, there has been an increase of nearly 20% in the number of trucking accidents. In 2012, in Florida, there were 194 semi trucks involved in fatal crashes, which was behind only Texas and California.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
The following are some common causes of semi truck accidents:
1. Driver fatigue
2. Improper loading or exceeding the maximum load for the truck;
3. Exceeding the posted speed limit;
4. Improperly or unsafely changing lanes;
5. Distracted driver;
6. Poor weather conditions; and
7. Improper or dangerous passing.
Even though the hours a truck driver may drive during a certain period of time are governed by federal law, some drivers and companies attempt to skirt the rules. Sometimes drivers are provided bonuses for reaching their destination within a certain timeframe which incentivizes drivers to drive longer hours and at faster speeds, both of which are listed as contributing factors in many trucking accidents. Statistically speaking, truck drivers, as a group, tend to have less tickets and license suspensions than the general population, those that are actually involved in accidents tend have a history of speeding tickets. Though there are federal laws prohibiting truck drivers from texting or using a cell phone (without Bluetooth), it still occurs and the fatigue of long hours multiplies the degree to which a truck driver is distracted.
Trucking Accidents are Likely to Involve Multiple Vehicles
Due to the shear size and weight of semi trucks, the stopping distance is much longer than a car. In fact, a loaded semi can weight 80,000 pounds while the average care weighs around 3,000. The interstate stopping distance of the semi is nearly twice that of the car. Although anti-lock brakes, which have been required on all trucks built after 1997, have reduced the number of “jack-knife” crashes, it is still a significant danger on the highways. A jack-knife occurs when the brakes are applied suddenly and the trailer portion of the truck forms an acute angle with the cab. A jack-knife accident will often times end up involving multiple vehicles as the truck and trailer may actually roll over vehicles in their path. In fact, trucking accidents with injuries are far more likely to involve multiple vehicles, as compared to single car accidents which account for a significant portion of all automobile accidents with injuries.
Contact Jones Law Group
Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident caused by truck driver? Trucking accidents are much different than car accidents and our attorneys are ready to explain to you the specific federal and Florida law regarding trucks and how it applies to your specific situation. Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at The Law Offices of Bobby Jones today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you. At Jones Law Group, we believe in personalized service and will strive to keep you constantly informed regarding all aspects of your case.
Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or the occupant of car, motorcycle or boat and have been injured in an accident, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707