Negligent Driving in Commercial Truck Crashes
When Truck Drivers Make Mistakes, the Consequences Can Be Devastating. Our Florida Lawyers are Here to Help You Recover.
Driving a large commercial truck is not easy. Commercial truck drivers need special licenses, and they need to spend lots of time practicing before they are ready to drive on public roads. Unfortunately, many truck drivers still lack the skills they need to avoid putting others in harm’s way despite the legal requirements that exist.
While driving a commercial truck is difficult, this is not an excuse. Truck drivers have to stay within their limits—and companies have to make sure they hire drivers who are fit for the job. When they don’t, the consequences can be devastating, and accident victims and their loved ones will often spend a lifetime recovering.
Our Truck Accident Lawyers Help Florida Accident Victims and Families Recover
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident caused by poor driving, our lawyers can help. We handle commercial truck accident cases throughout Florida, and we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our truck accident clients. We can thoroughly investigate the accident to prove that the trucker’s poor driving was to blame, and we can seek full compensation for the financial and non-financial costs of the collision.
Common Examples of Poor Truck Driving
Behind the wheel of a large commercial truck, even minor mistakes can lead to loss of control. But, many truck drivers make mistakes that are not minor—speeding recklessly, looking at their phones and even falling asleep in the driver’s seat. Regardless of the specific issue involved, poor driving is justification for holding truck drivers and their employers accountable.
Our truck accident lawyers help accident victims and families seek just compensation for truck driving mistakes such as:
Distracted Truck Driving
Distracted driving is a leading cause of all motor vehicle collisions—truck accidents included. While truck drivers need to be paying attention to the road at all times, studies have shown that distracted driving is extremely common. This includes forms of distraction such as:
- Talking on the phone
- Using social media
- Reading a map or setting GPS directions
- Communicating with dispatch
- Eating and drinking
- Reading the news and watching videos
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a common factor in commercial truck accidents as well. In Florida, the “legal limit” for truck drivers is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04 instead of the standard 0.08 BAC for non-commercial drivers—and there is a very good reason why. Behind the wheel of a large commercial truck, even the slightest impairment can prevent drivers from making smart decisions and safe maneuvers that avoid serious and fatal collisions.
In addition to alcohol impairment, drug impairment is a concern in truck accident cases as well. This includes impairment caused by illegal drugs, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.
Fatigued Truck Driving
Truck drivers often spend their entire day behind the wheel, and many drive late into the night. As a result, fatigue is to be expected. But, when truck drivers get fatigued, they need to stop. Federal regulations not only limit the number of consecutive hours truckers can drive, but they also establish minimum rest periods between stints behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many truck drivers ignore these restrictions (or get pushed to violate them by their employers), which means that fatigue plays a role in many large truck accidents.
For long hauls, two drivers will often share driving responsibility. In most cases, the driver behind the wheel will be responsible when an accident occurs, but there are circumstances in which a co-driver can be liable. If you were injured in a truck accident involving co-driver negligence, our truck accident lawyers can help you seek just compensation.
Failure to Control Oversized Trucks
Oversized and overloaded trucks present particular driving challenges, and they present certain risks for the occupants of other vehicles. Swerving, waiting too long to break, turning too sharply and other mistakes can easily cause oversized truck drivers to lose control.
Failure to Control Trucks in Bad Weather
Heavy downpours and high winds can make Florida’s roads dangerous for all motorists. But, for truck drivers, the dangers are often exceptionally high. A wet road can significantly increase a large truck’s stopping distance, and high winds can push tractor-trailers out of their lanes. Truck drivers are (or should be) trained to avoid these risks, but not all of them are equipped to do so.
Failure to Prevent a Jackknife
Jackknifing tractor-trailers present extreme risks on Florida’s highways and other roadways. Truck drivers can avoid these accidents by driving safely, leaving plenty of buffer, and gradually slowing down. As a result, when truck drivers fail to avoid these accidents, they (and their employers) can usually be held legally responsible.
Speeding, Tailgating and Other Forms of Aggressive Driving
Just like other drivers, large commercial truck drivers need to obey all of the rules of the road. Among other things, this means observing the speed limit, following at a safe distance and only passing when it is safe to do so. Yet, many truckers choose to drive aggressively—and when they do, they often end up making mistakes that lead to catastrophic accidents.
Tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks need to make wide turns to avoid running over sidewalks and hitting signposts and street lights. However, when making wide turns, they must be careful not to go too wide and hit approaching vehicles. Wide turns (and failure to make wide turns) are common causes of commercial truck accidents—and they are common causes that can (and should) be avoided with proper driving.
Discuss Your Case with a Florida Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a truck accident caused by poor driving, we encourage you to speak with one of our lawyers about your legal rights. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a truck accident attorney at Searcy Denney, call 800-780-8607 or contact us online today.