Truck accidents are different from other motor vehicle accident, and involve additional laws and regulations. Fatal and injury-causing truck accidents continue to be a problem throughout Florida, and Marion County is no different. In its Traffic Crash Facts Annual Report 2017, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that there were 733 collisions involving commercial motor vehicles. This figure is considerably higher than the totals for 2015 and 2016. There were 19 fatalities in these accidents and 253 people were injured, almost doubling the statistics for the two previous years.
Many of these crashes could have been avoided, but truck driver negligence is often a factor. If you were injured or lost a loved one, you do have rights. An Ocala truck accidents attorney can explain how these cases work, but you may find it useful to review some examples of truck driver negligence in Florida.
Overview of Negligence in Motor Vehicle Crashes: Under Florida law on auto accidents, negligence is any type of act that deviates from the standard of care that applies to all drivers on the road. Truck drivers are subject to the same rules as any other motorist and have a duty to operate the vehicle safely. The driver of a semi, box truck, 18-wheeler, or other commercial truck may be liable through such negligent acts as:
- Texting or talking on the phone while behind the wheel;
- Other forms of distracted driving, including eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, or using a GPS;
- Failure to yield;
- Following too closely;
- Unsafe lane changes;
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and,
- Many other causes of truck driver negligence.
How Negligence is a Factor in Truck Accidents: Some types of negligence are specific to truck drivers, mainly because of the vehicle they operate. Commercial vehicles are larger in size, heavier in weight, and harder to maneuver as compared to passenger vehicles. Operators must complete training and carry the proper license, as the potential for catastrophic accidents is much higher.
Truck drivers may engage unique acts of negligence, such as:
Fatigue: There are rules regarding Hours of Service, which limit the time period a truck operator can spend behind the wheel. Among other regulations, drivers are limited to a maximum number of hours after time off, and they must take time for breaks.
Unsecured Loads: Unstable cargo may amount to truck driver negligence when debris falls off the trailer and into the path of following vehicles. Other motorists may be unable to avoid colliding with loose items, or heavy cargo could crash directly onto the following vehicle.
Truck Trailers: The trailer being transported by a truck driver is itself a hazard if the operator does not take proper precaution to ensure safety. Stopping too quickly, speeding around turns, and erratic lane changes can lead the driver to lose control of the trailer. Jack-knifing, overturns, and other collisions are common.
Consult with a Skilled Ocala, FL Truck Accidents Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Please call truck accidents attorneys Piccin & Glynn for more information on your rights as the victim of a truck accident. We can schedule a free consultation to review your situation and explain your remedies, so visit our website to set up your free appointment today.