Sharing the roadways in Fort Lauderdale with large commercial vehicles presents a unique set of challenges. Truck drivers need to be aware of the hazards that they present. Drivers of passenger vehicles need to know how to drive in a safe way, especially around these large, powerful trucks. Even a minor driving error can lead to a catastrophic accident.
As Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyers, we have dealt with the majority of these causes and have witnessed the devastation of people involved in these terrible collisions. In order to help keep everyone on the road safe from danger, we have put together a list of the most common causes of truck accidents. We have divided them into two categories: Those caused by truckers and those caused by typical drivers.
Accidents Caused by Truck Drivers
The people who drive large commercial vehicles tend to be excellent drivers for the most part. They are calm and patient, understanding that they have a huge responsibility on their hands. Unfortunately, no one is perfect. There are a number of things that can go wrong, causing a truck driver to collide into a passenger vehicle.
1. Inadequate Training
There is a shortage of truckers on the road today. Some companies may be too quick to put new drivers behind the wheel. A lack of training and experience can lead a new driver to make mistakes that an older driver wouldn’t.
2. Difficult Schedules
There are federal standards in place that dictate how long a trucker can drive throughout the day. There are regulations that stipulate how many miles can be logged. Some companies push their drivers to hurry, despite the high risks. The faster a load can get to its destination, the faster a driver can pick up another.
3. Unbalanced Loads
A load has to be placed in the trailer properly so that the entire truck remains balanced. When the people loading the truck are in a hurry and don’t place items correctly, the load can shift at any point, but especially on turns. This can cause the truck to tip.
4. Fatigued Driving
Driving on your own for hours at a time can be tiring. Driver fatigue is a real problem in the trucking industry, although federal regulations try to curb this. Truck drivers who feel as though they are too tired to drive safely are urged to pull over and take a break or stop driving for the day.
5. Distracted Driving
Truck drivers need to stay aware at all times, focusing their attention on the road ahead. There are things that happen in the cab that can distract from the task at hand. A ringing cell phone, the need to eat while driving, and more. Anything that takes a driver’s attention off the road is said to be a distraction.
Accidents Caused by Other Drivers
Some accidents involving trucks and passenger vehicles are caused by the driver of the smaller vehicle. Here are the top five causes that can be attributed to drivers. Personal injury lawyers know all too well about that.
1. Driving in the “No Zone”
Drivers need to stay out of areas that encompass the “no zone” of a truck. These no zones surround the truck, but may be particularly dangerous around the trailer. A general rule of thumb is this: If you can’t see the driver, they can’t see you. If you find yourself stuck in a trucker’s blind spot, try to maneuver to a section of road that is safer.
2. Cutting Trucks Off
If you need to pass a truck and then get in front of it, do so carefully. Never cut directly in front of a truck. The driver may not be able to stop in time should you have to slam on your brakes. Don’t get in front of a truck until you can see the driver in your rearview mirror. The more distance you can put between you and a truck, the better.
3. Distracted Driving
Just as distracted driving is a problem for truckers, it’s an issue with every other driver. Remember that when you slip behind the wheel, your job is to drive safely. Pay attention to the road and don’t do anything else in the vehicle. Eating, drinking, grooming, and texting are all things that can wait.
4. Improper Merging
Drivers can easily cause an accident with a truck when they are merging onto or off of a highway. Pay close attention to what you are doing when you are merging. If you don’t have an adequate amount of space, you may just have to go to the next exit and turn around.
5. Not Giving Enough Room
If you’ve ever watched a truck turn, you know it turns wide. When you don’t give a truck enough room to turn, it can easily hit your car simply because the driver can’t avoid it.
Speak to a Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you are involved in a truck accident, you need a Fort Lauderdale truck accident lawyer. Reach out to our office to schedule a free case evaluation. We will discuss the details of your accident with you and advise you of your legal rights and options.
This article was written on July 3, 2018 and updated on November 6, 2020.