Even on the best of days, our public roadways can be a dangerous place. No matter how cautious and safe you are, you can’t control the other drivers around you. When you consider the fact that we share the road with commercial trucks weighing up to 80,000 pounds, the potential for a semi crash is a sobering possibility.
The car you drive around in most likely weighs about 4,000 pounds or two tons. The trucks you pass hauling freight on the roads can weigh as much as 40 tons. Would you pick a fight with someone 20 times your size? I know I wouldn’t. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who has the upper hand.
The Alarming Statistics
Truck crashes cause injuries and take lives all over the country every year. If you live in Florida though, you’re particularly at risk. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Florida is in the top ten for states with the highest average number of fatal large truck crashes. The top ten represent 51% of all deadly crashes involving a large truck or bus in the nation. Let’s look at some Florida-specific statistics for 2016 provided by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV):
- 41,235 total accidents involving a large truck or bus
- 7,303 total injuries from truck crashes
- 276 fatalities from these accidents
Florida residents, I urge you to be extra careful on the roads.
What Can You Do About It?
Now that we know the numbers, it’s time to take some action. What steps can we take to prevent it?
- Always keep a safe distance
Semi-trucks are much harder to control than cars and take a lot longer to come to a stop. You should maintain at least a couple seconds of travel time between your car and any trucks on the road.
- Be mindful of their large blind spots
The visibility inside the cab of an 18-wheeler is much lower than the cars and SUVs they share the road with. There are large areas of the road that are invisible to their operators when driving. Many trucks have clear images on their trailer that demonstrate which areas they can see and which they can’t. A good rule of thumb is, if you can’t see the truck’s mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you.
- Take extra caution when passing trucks on the road
Trucks have blind spots directly in front and behind the vehicle. When you pass them, you need to be very mindful of this. You can find plenty of videos online where semis collide with passing cars and drag them for long distances. This can happen without the truck driver ever knowing because their trucks are so much larger.
- Eliminate any other distractions when sharing the road
You should already be doing this. Distracted driving is responsible for all sorts of tragic accidents, not just with trucks. The stakes with truck crashes are much higher, so your need to focus is also much more important.
Stay Safe, Florida
There isn’t enough space on the blog to emphasize how important road safety is around large trucks. They are an important part of our nation’s commerce, but they also bring a great deal of danger. This list I’ve prepared for you is by no means comprehensive, but it’s a good place to start.
- Make sure that you and your loved ones are taking every precaution on the road. Getting where you’re going a few minutes earlier isn’t worth the risk. It’s our own responsibility to stay safe on the roads.
- You can’t control others, but you can control your own actions. Be mindful and remember my tips the next time you find yourself next to a 40-ton rolling giant.
Contact Brooks Law Group
Even when every precaution is taken, accidents happen. They’re called accidents for a reason. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of another, call Brooks Law Group today. Our number is 1-800-LAW-3030 or 1-800-529-3030. Contact the attorneys that your community trusts. Our attorneys and staff are dedicated to your client experience, and you won’t owe us anything unless you receive compensation. You can also visit our website to fill out an online case review form. Don’t wait. Get the representation you deserve today!