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Common Trucking Accident Causes

Florida is one of the top three highest-rated states for truck accident fatalities. Truck accidents can cause serious harm to drivers, passengers, and property. According to the FMCSA, 84% of truck accident fatalities are occupants of other vehicles, making trucking accidents extremely dangerous for other motorists. Learn what causes trucking accidents and how to prevent them below.  

Distracted and Reckless Driving 

One of the most common causes of trucking accidents is distracted driving. While texting and cell phone usage is one form of distracted driving, other forms include tending to young children, eating, or configuring GPS. Sudden severe weather, like Florida’s frequent afternoon thunderstorms, can also cause distractions and reduce visibility.

Not Following Truck Safety Guidelines 

There are several guidelines commercial truck drivers must follow to ensure safety. When they aren’t obeyed, accidents are more likely to occur.  

Overloaded and Unsecured Cargo 

FDOT provides detailed parameters that commercial truck drivers should follow to ensure their trucks aren’t too heavy. Overloaded trucks need longer to come to a full stop, are more susceptible to jackknifing, and can cause damage to roads and bridges with weight restrictions. There are also specifications for securing loads. If loads aren’t restrained properly, contents can spill out onto roadways and cause hours of traffic delays and expensive clean-ups. 

Driver Fatigue 

Florida Statute 316.302 mandates specific rest and on-duty times for commercial drivers. Commercial drivers must keep detailed logs of their rest, sleep, driving, and on-duty times to ensure they are well-rested while operating their vehicles. These guidelines specify that commercial drivers can drive 12 hours a day, provided they had ten consecutive hours of off-duty time beforehand. Drivers cannot be on duty for more than 16 hours at once or drive more than 80 hours in eight straight days. There are also specific guidelines about sleeper berth times, which are separate from off-duty and driving time. However, the incentive to deliver loads early or on time can make some drivers cut corners and push through driving while drowsy, which can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. 

Failure to Maintain Vehicle 

Trucks have more wear and tear than other motor vehicles, so they must be inspected regularly. Even routine maintenance can miss issues such as inferior brake pad quality and balding tires. When a truck fails to be periodically maintained, there is an increased chance of accidents. 

Speeding 

Speeding is one of the leading causes of all traffic accidents and is significantly more dangerous for truck drivers and those sharing the road with them. 

Preventing Trucking Accidents 

Florida automobile drivers can keep themselves safe and prevent trucking accidents in several ways. The first way is to maintain a safe distance behind and to the side of a truck. If you can’t see the trucks’ mirrors, they can’t see you. Passing is another time when accidents commonly occur. When passing a truck, it’s best to pass on the driver’s side. Pass quickly and leave the truck’s blind spot as soon as possible. Another way to prevent trucking accidents is to use lights and signaling at appropriate times, like driving in the rain and at night. 

 King Law Firm: Representing Truck Accident Victims 

Our Ocala offices are near several central trucking routes, including I-75, the Florida Turnpike, U.S. Highway 27, and Route 441. If you’ve suffered injuries due to a trucking accident, contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at the King Law Firm to represent you. We’ll help you fight for damages caused by the accident that your insurance won’t cover. Call our office at 352-269-1814 or contact us online for a free consultation to discuss your case. 


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