The sheer weight and size of semi-trucks make them dangerous to smaller vehicles on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), large trucks are 20 to 30 times heavier than passenger cars or other vehicles. If a crash occurs, the occupants of the smaller vehicle are at greater risk of injury or even death.
The size of a semi-truck is one factor that makes them dangerous to other drivers. There are other reasons semi-trucks pose a hazard to others who share the roads and highways.
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Semi-Trucks Are Difficult to Drive
Semi-trucks are very difficult to drive. The driver needs proper training for a large vehicle that is difficult to control, uses partial gears, and does not pick up speed like most vehicles.
Braking Plays a Major Role in Semi-Tuck Accidents
Braking in a semi-truck is also a major factor in crashes. Trucks loaded with cargo take 20 to 40 percent more room to stop than cars according to IIHS. Bad weather, such as slippery or icy roads, can also lead to braking issues and resulting accidents.
As you drive, it is important to try to stay within view of the truck driver’s mirrors. You might have seen stickers that say, “if you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” This is very true, and you should even use nonverbal signals to communicate with truck drivers so that the two of you can avoid one another.
Visibility Is Limited
It’s important to remember visibility in any semi-truck is limited because the cab is not open, and the driver does not have a true rearview mirror.
In addition to the reduced visibility truck drivers must contend with, your car is far smaller than a large truck. A truck driver is sitting several feet above the road, and they could easily miss your vehicle and even run the risk of overriding your car in a crash.
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Driver Fatigue Can Also Contribute to a Semi-Truck Accident
Truck drivers face long hours behind the wheel, leading to driver fatigue. Lack of sleep, long work hours, and other factors could result in a sleepy driver who is at greater risk of causing an accident.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Large Truck Crash Causation Study revealed 13 percent of commercial truck drivers suffered from fatigue at the time of their accident.
Semi-truck drivers must comply with federal regulations limiting the amount of time they are allowed to drive before taking a rest break. But recent surveys show a majority of semi-truck drivers do not comply with the regulations and work longer than allowed.
The Tucking Company Could Be Held Liable for the Accident
If an investigation finds the trucking company forced the driver to work past the allotted hours, and that played a role in your semi-truck accident, the company could be held legally liable.
A lawyer who handles semi-truck accident cases can identify the liable parties and name them in an insurance claim or civil lawsuit.
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Semi-Trucks Are Heavy
A semi-truck is naturally much heavier than your vehicle. By proxy, the truck is going to cause more damage if it is involved in an accident. The truck is harder to control if the driver has to make a sudden stop because it does not slow down as quickly as a passenger vehicle.
Semi-Trucks Often Have Massive Loads
Generally, semi-trucks carry massive loads that are dangerous in a crash and could shift at any time. Remember, a loading crew is responsible for packing the truck, and if the load shifts, the driver could lose control, or the trailer might tip over.
In this case, the company of the crew that loaded the truck could be held responsible for your accident and owe you compensation for your damages.
Compensation You Could Receive for Your Semi-Truck Accident Case
You could be eligible for two types of damages in your semi-truck accident case: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that are tabulated using your bills, expenses, and other out of pocket costs due to the accident. Non-economic damages are less tangible and account for your physical and emotional suffering. Both may include:
- Medical bills (e.g., ambulance transport, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, assistive medical devices)
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
An attorney familiar with semi-truck accident cases in Florida can determine the value of your case and ensure you are not stuck with out-of-pocket expenses for an accident you did not cause.
Statute of Limitations
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a semi-truck accident, keep in mind you have a limited window of time to file your case in civil court. The statute of limitations for a personal injury case is four years from the date of the accident per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a).
If a family member passed away as a result of a semi-truck accident, please accept our condolences. You have two years to file a wrongful death case per Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d).
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for Help Today
If you were the victim of a semi-truck accident, do not delay in seeking legal help for your damages and other losses.
Call 1-800-747-3733 to discuss your case during a free consultation with a team member.