Anytime a person is in a motor vehicle accident, there is a very real risk of injury. In many crashes, injuries can be prevented or minimized thanks to airbags, seat belts and other safety features. However, when collisions are severe, victims can be killed or catastrophically injured despite all the precautions that may have been taken.
This is often the case in the aftermath of crashes involving commercial trucks. For a number of reasons, trucks have the potential to cause considerable damage in the event of a collision.
- Size of the truck: Trucks are huge. Because of this, they can be slow to accelerate and need more space to brake, making them difficult to operate. If they flip, cannot slow down fast enough, jackknife or swerve into another lane, the trucks can be a serious hazard to other people. Because they are so heavy, they can easily destroy smaller vehicles at just about any speed.
- Cargo: Trucks carry heavy, potentially hazardous cargo. If this cargo shifts or is improperly loaded, a trucker can lose control of the rig and it can topple over quite easily. If it spills, the cargo could create a threat to the safety of anyone else in the vicinity.
- Number of vehicles involved: Truck accidents often happen on highways and interstates. With so many vehicles that are often found on these roadways, it is not uncommon for a single collision to turn into a multi-vehicle accident with several victims.
Considering all the damage that can be done by a truck in a crash, it is essential that they are consistently operated by safe, capable drivers. Unfortunately, truck drivers are just like any other motorist: They are imperfect and don’t always make good decisions behind the wheel.
Despite strict trucking regulations, truckers fall asleep at the wheel, drive without proper certification, get distracted by their phones, drive while impaired and carelessly load or monitor cargo.
If and when these failings lead to a crash in Florida, accident victims and their families should know that they can hold certain parties accountable. As noted in this FindLaw article, drivers, trucking companies and owners may all be liable for damages suffered in a truck accident.