Each year, there are over 500,000 trucking crashes across the country and 5,000 such crashes result in at least one fatality, so over 500 people are killed each year by being involved in a truck incident . In any crash involving a commercial truck, there is a greater chance of serious injury or death than in accidents between two motor vehicles. In Part I of this three part series, we our Miami tractor trailer accident lawyers will look at two of the most common causes of commercial trucking accidents:
1) Driver Fatigue and
2) Distracted Driving. We examine some additional common causes of commercial truck crashes in this second segment.
3. Drug Use–a recent study examining the cause of truck accidents found that the use of either illegal or prescription drugs played a role in 26% of all crashes. Drugs lead to erratic behavior and impaired a trucker’s reaction time. Reaction is the time from when our eyes perceive a danger and the time we begin to react, i.e., hit the brakes, swerve, etc. During this “reaction time” a vehicle travels a certain distance dependant on its speed .Drug use among truckers is notoriously high, with some long haul truckers resorting to stimulant drugs to keep them awake through the night and combat tedious hours on the road. Your experienced Florida truck accident attorney will investigate whether drugs contributed to your accident.
4. Speeding–according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, speed is a contributing factor in over 23% of all trucking crashes . Excessive speed when driving an 80,000 pound commercial truck often becomes deadly. Trucking companies have the means to control and monitor their driver’s speed through speed governors, but not all use these devices due to the expense associated with their purchase and installation. A licensed Florida truck accident attorney can determine the speed at which the truck was traveling at the time of the accident to further your claim and often the degree of braking used, if any..
5. Exceeding hours of service requirements–all commercial truck drivers must adhere to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s guidelines which dictate how many hours a driver can spend on the road and how much rest he or she must obtain. All drivers are required to keep a “log book” of their hours. Unfortunately, many drivers exceed the hours of service requirements in order to meet tight deadlines or maximize profits. “Log books” are often incomplete or intentionally filled out wrong. Long hours behind the wheel may cause driver fatigue, distraction, possible drug use, and all around unsafe driving. A knowledgeable truck accident attorney will subpoena the truck driver’s log and verify its contents against trip tickets, gas receipts, and bills of lading and use other “tricks of the trade,” we choose not to discuss in open forums
6. Poor maintenance–in this tough economy, many trucking companies have been forced to make budget cuts, and cuts to routine maintenance are often involved. The failure to check and rotate tires, examine hitches, supports, and axels, and maintain brake pads, among other things, can lead to accidents. A Florida truck accident attorney will examine the trucking company’s maintenance logs for evidence of poor maintenance as a contributing cause to the accident.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Zealous Representation for Truck Accident Victims
If you or a loved one is injured in a trucking accident, contact the South Florida law office of Greenberg Stone and Urbano today. For over 120 collective years, we have aggressively represented the victims of trucking accidents across South Florida. Our commitment to excellence of legal services has earned us an “AV” rating from Martindale Hubbell, and it is why we have been asked to join Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. Moreover, the Miami Herald voted us as one of the top-rated South Florida law firm, and, we have earned the title of “Superlawyers,” designating us as being among the best lawyers in America. We want to put this dedication to work for you, so call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an initial consultation.