In 2012, approximately six percent of all fatal accidents in Florida involved large trucks those with a gross weight was 10,000 pounds or higher.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the administration that oversees trucking companies, the number of truck accidents has actually increased by 20 percent in the past decade. More than 4,800 people have lost their lives as a result of a large truck accident.
Below is a list of the top ten causes of semi-truck accidents as listed in The Large Truck Causation Study published by the FMCSA in 2007.
- Driver fatigue was the cause of about 13 percent of accidents studied by the FMCSA. Recent accidents caused by driver fatigue have led many to scrutinize the trucking industry.
- Speeding accounted for about 23 percent of accidents, which is not surprising as many truckers have deadlines to meet.
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications were the cause of 18 percent of crashes.
- Failure to check blind spots accounted for 14 percent of collisions. These types of trucks have multiple blind spots, which can make them difficult to maneuver in heavy traffic.
- Failing to signal a turn caused about nine percent of the crashes studied.
- Distracted driving has become a growing problems for truck drivers as many try to find ways to stay awake or beat boredom while on the road. These distractions caused eight percent of truck wrecks.
- Aggressive driving, better known as road rage, contributed to seven percent of the truck accident.
- About 22 percent of the accidents involved a driver not familiar with the roads he or she was traveling. As drivers often go into unfamiliar territory, many will get lost and even head down the wrong way which can result in a disastrous situation.
- Negligent driving, such as underestimating distance between two vehicles or if there is enough room to make a turn, was the cause of at least seven percent of accidents.
- Illegal drug use was the cause of 26 percent of large truck accidents. Although drivers are required to take random drug tests, an investigation in 2014 found that it was easy for these drivers to cheat the drug testing system.
As South Florida is home to various ports, truckers are often seen on our roads at all hours of the day. Despite there being federal laws and regulations to govern the industry, rules are broken and each day motorists are put in danger by reckless truckers.
However, other drivers can also be the cause of truck accidents as they can misjudge an approaching trucks speed at an intersection or merge improperly and cause the truck driver to brake quickly.
It is important for truck drivers and motorists to share the roads and follow the law in order to prevent accidents from happening.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident caused by a careless driver, the victim may be entitled to file a claim for damages. At Gordon & Doner, we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of the injured.