Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Winter Haven, FL
Recent reports indicate that the trucking industry is growing rapidly in Florida. More large trucks are traveling the state’s roads than ever before. Unfortunately, that growth comes with potential danger. More trucks mean a greater likelihood of deadly commercial truck accidents in The Sunshine State.
Truck accidents happen for many reasons. Some causes are similar to any other car wreck. Others are more specific to the trucking industry. Several different parties may be held liable for any injuries resulting from a truck collision, so it’s crucial to have an attorney figure out what happened if you’ve been hurt in a crash.
Talk to a Winter Haven truck accident attorney at Brooks Law Group. Our dedicated legal team has decades of experience handling complex claims involving tractor-trailer crashes. We can identify what caused your truck accident and develop a strategy to pursue the compensation you deserve. Call or contact us for a free initial consultation.
What Are the Top Causes of Truck Accidents?
The most common causes of truck accidents in Winter Haven include:
- Impaired driving: Driving any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating drugs is dangerous. For commercial truck drivers, impaired driving can have disastrous consequences. When drivers are drunk or high, they lack the judgment, reaction time, and coordination needed to drive safely. DUI truck accidents frequently cause severe and fatal injuries.
- Driver fatigue: Many truck drivers are under enormous pressure to drive as quickly as possible to fulfill unreasonable delivery quotas. Trucking companies often directly or indirectly motivate drivers to push themselves past the point of exhaustion in the name of maintaining their bottom lines. When drivers are too tired to focus behind the wheel, they are more likely to make preventable mistakes that lead to drowsy driving accidents.
- Inexperience: The trucking industry is experiencing a massive truck driver shortage. Qualified truck drivers are getting harder to find. As a result, some trucking companies are taking shortcuts to remain profitable. Many of today’s truck drivers are inexperienced or poorly trained, making them more susceptible to dangerous and deadly driving errors.
- Failure to check blind spots: Semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other commercial trucks have much larger blind spots than other vehicles. When truck drivers fail to check their blind spots before they stop, turn, or change lanes, they can collide with smaller vehicles. In severe cases, cars in a truck’s blind spot can even be crushed or run over in devastating underride or override collisions.
- Aggressive driving: Common aggressive driving behaviors include speeding, lane weaving, and tailgating. These actions are hazardous for truck drivers because large trucks take significantly more time and distance to slow down or stop. When an aggressive truck driver does not leave themselves adequate following distance, they can cause catastrophic collisions.
- Inadequate maintenance: Truckers and trucking companies must perform regular inspections and routine maintenance on their rigs to ensure critical systems are functioning correctly. If a truck driver or the company that owns the truck neglects to maintain the vehicle properly, essential components such as the truck’s tires, brakes, or steering system can fail. Tire blowout truck accidents caused by worn or improperly inflated tires are a common consequence of inadequate maintenance.
- Manufacturing defects: In rare cases, truck equipment failures may be caused by flaws in the design, manufacturing, or assembly process for the parts. Even the safest truck driver can be involved in an accident if a truck component fails unexpectedly due to manufacturer negligence. In those cases, accident victims may be able to sue the negligent automaker or parts manufacturer for compensation.
- Improperly loaded cargo: The cargo in a truck’s trailer can contribute to accidents if it is not loaded or secured correctly. When the weight of a truck’s payload is too heavy or not distributed evenly, it can cause uneven wear on the truck’s tires and may lead to blowout accidents. In extreme cases, unsecured cargo can shift during transit and throw a truck off-balance, leading to loss of control and possible cargo spillage.
Tips for Driving Safely Near Trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has provided the following tips to help passenger vehicle drivers stay safe when driving near large trucks:
- Understand where a truck’s blind spots are and avoid lingering in them.
- Make sure you can see truck drivers in a truck’s mirror before passing or merging.
- Make sure you can see the truck in your rearview mirror before you pass in front.
- Avoid passing trucks on declines or downhills, where they typically pick up speed.
- Avoid passing trucks on the right or speeding up when a driver tries to pass you.
- Do not drive too close in front of or behind trucks to avoid front or rear blind spots.
- Allow trucks plenty of room to make wide turns.
- Be patient around large trucks and give them time to speed up or slow as needed.
- Avoid driving while tired, distracted, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
What to Do If You’re in a Truck Accident in Winter Haven
If you were involved in a truck accident, taking the following steps could help you protect your rights and your ability to pursue compensation from the at-fault party for your losses:
- Seek prompt medical treatment for your injuries to establish a record of your physical condition and demonstrate that you’re taking your health seriously.
- Attend all follow-up medical appointments and follow your doctor’s orders.
- Maintain a record of your medical bills, repair costs, and other accident-related expenses.
- Document what you can about the accident by writing down everything you remember about the crash and photographing visible injuries or property damage.
- Contact a knowledgeable Winter Haven truck accident lawyer for assistance.
- Avoid sharing information about the crash with anyone aside from your attorney.
- Avoid posting or sharing anything about the accident on social media platforms.
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer in Winter Haven Today
At Brooks Law Group, our Winter Haven truck accident lawyers are passionate about helping injured victims secure justice. We have helped countless injured Floridians obtain millions of dollars in rightful compensation. We can help you, too.
Contact us today to discuss your truck accident claim with a knowledgeable Winter Haven attorney. The first consultation is free, so there’s no risk to you.