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Tractor Trailer Danger on Florida Roads

Big heavy trucks and passenger cars are a dangerous mix on Florida’s roads.

On November 3, 2012 a semi tractor trailer travelling north on I-75 near Fowler Avenue swerved to avoid a passenger car and struck a second semi truck and rolled over and burst into flames. The driver of the first semi was killed in the accident and many others were injured from the accident and fire which followed. I-75 was closed for almost 6 hours.

Florida’s roads are dangerous for a wide variety of reasons. We deal with distracted drivers, poor roadway design, poor or inferior road maintenance, speeders, wild animals and of course, tractor trailers and tractor trailer drivers. The great majority of tractor trailer drivers operate their vehicles safely and professionally, many do not. Despite the great number of safe and prudent truck operators, there are about 500,000 accidents each year involving semi tractor trailer drivers on our roadways, nationwide. Of that 500,000 number, 5,000 of those accidents involve one of more fatalities. One out of eight traffic accidents fatalities involve a tractor trailer. This is so because of the size and weight of the loads that these trucks haul. Trucks are large, awkward and are subject to the elements such as wind and water. Braking is totally different for trucks than it is for passenger automobiles. All of these combine to make trucks driving among passenger cars very dangerous.

Truck accidents happen more often in rural settings (68%) and 66% occur during daylight hours. Weekends are, by far more dangerous than weekdays (78%). Operating a large tractor trailer is difficult when the driver is not intoxicated or distracted. DUI is an issue with a percentage of truck drivers and one of the leading causes of truck accidents. Keeping a safe distance is one of the most basic methods to avoid an accident with a truck. Stay back and keep a safe distance.

There are several things you might consider doing to minimize your risk of an accident with a large tractor trailer. You should be aware of a truck’s blind spots and make sure you keep a safe distance. Make sure you remember that you should not pass a truck on their passenger blind side and always pay attention to the truck’s turn signals. Make certain that if and when you try to pass a truck either on the open road or in urban traffic, that you pay sharp attention to upcoming intersections and other drivers in the vicinity.

Lawsuits arising from truck accidents require a special expertise and experience that the lawyers at Gibbs and Parnell have developed over the years. Gibbs and Parnell have handles thousands of accidents involving debilitating and catastrophic injuries and death from inattentive truck drivers. If you have had an accident with a truck or another motorist, call and schedule an appointment and let one of our experienced lawyers evaluate your case and advise you regarding the handling of your personal injury claim.

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